When last we left director Mike Mills, he was ushering the great Christopher Plummer to his first Oscar, for 2011's “Beginners.” Now he's teaming up with Megan Ellison and Annapurna Pictures for “20th Century Women,” with Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning in tow.
The film is set in Santa Barbara during the summer of 1979 and tells the story of Dorethea Fields (Bening), a mother struggling to raise a teenage son while navigating life and lvoe, sex and freedom, men and women. She looks for answers in two other women in her life, each from a different era of the 20th Century. “Filled with punk-rock verve, '20th Century Women' takes a humorous and heartfelt look at how we figure out who we are,” the press release says.
Gerwig will play Abbie, a photographer submersed in the punk culture of the era who is forced to return home and ends up living with Dorothea and Jamie, while Fanning will play Julie, a “secretly provocative” 16-year-old friend of Jamie's.
“These three characters are all women that I knew growing up,” Mills blurbs. “I'm thrilled to have Annette, Greta and Elle, three incredible actresses who will bring an authenticity and vulnerability to each of these very strong, funny and complicated roles.”
I was a big fan of “Beginners” and think Mills has a lot more to show us. This sounds like exciting material for the three actresses he's rounded up, and who knows? Like Plummer a few years ago, maybe the director can help Bening to that elusive first trophy.
“20th Century Women” begins filming in Southern California later this year.