Movie Review: 20th Century Women

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If you haven’t seen 20th century woman yet, and you have Netflix, stop what you’re doing right now and give it a watch. Now, don’t expect high-energy car chases, explosions or a mind-bending psychological thriller. Just like most A24 coming of age films, this one feels very real and elicits personal reflection. The picture focuses mostly on a young boy and his relationship with his mom, much like the movie Lady Bird (which most of us have seen recently), but also introduces other characters a long the way that carry the story just as much as the protagonist does. I already have a greater appreciation for period pieces, so I may be biased, but the sets are beautiful and true to era; the same goes for the soundtrack as well (think Talking Heads and Bowie). The aspect of the film that stood out the most; however, was the dialogue.

Here were a couple quotes that stood out the most to me:

“They’ve got all this feeling, and they don’t have any skill, and they don’t want skill because it’s really interesting what happens when your passion is bigger than the tools you have to deal with it.” Is the response given by a character when asked why punk music doesn’t sound very “pretty”. This quote stuck out to me because it made me think about the current situation that we’re in where we have so much passion to create, but due to the circumstances that the world finds itself in right now, can’t really acquire the tools to do such. Maybe we should make a film like The Raincoats made their music, and focus on the feeling; not the technicalities.

“Whatever you think your life is going to be like, just know, its not going to be anything like that.” A very surface level quote that I think we can all relate to. Whether that be a something you could’ve told yourself 5 months ago, or 5 years ago. I’m not only sharing this quote because its one everyone can agree with, but because it really made me reflect on how different my life ACTUALLY was 5 years ago. At the time I thought I was going to be a pastry chef, attending school in New York. I’ve always enjoyed creating media, but I never considered it as a career until I got to college. This industry has opened up a whole new world for me *cue A Whole New World from the Aladdin soundtrack*, and my life has taken a completely different path because of it. I try to keep my mind open because of this. Nothing is set in stone, and things change by the second.

“You get to see him out in the world as a person. I never will” Annette Bening says about her son in the movie. This one stuck out to me because its not something I have really ever thought about. My parents have never REALLY seen me out in the world as a person. I feel like we all have a different persona that we use with our parents. And I wouldn’t say it isn’t myself, but it certainly isn’t the same person I am when I am with my friends and am free to act as I please. The same goes for our parents. I never got to see them when they were young adults clubbing in their paracute pants on a Saturday night, or discussing the politics of Reagan and Carter while smoking a joint in the back of their Oldsmobile (if that’s something they did… I am not condoning illegal activity, I promise.)


To conclude this blog post I would just like to say that while the film had wonderful direction by Mike Mills, anything Greta Gerwig has been involved in that I have seen proves to be a pure masterpiece. Whether she’s acting in it, directing it or writing it; They aren’t huge summer blockbusters, but they are films to watch if you just want a story about life and all its obstacles, with a dash of feminism.

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  • David Rubio

    Thanks for the recommendation and for the dialogue points. Dialogue, personally, is my favorite part of any movie. A good quote from a movie can stick with you forever (“No, I am your father”, “You gotta ask yourself, do I feel lucky? Well you ya punk?” etc. etc.

  • Hales

    This was an enjoyable and persuasive read. I will most definitely check it out now!

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