In the late 1970s, even the glorious Santa Barbara sun could sense darkness falling over America. A single mother with a strong personality seeks the help of two live-in women to make her fifteen-year-old son a man.
They are also strong figures from whom the son could learn a lot. One is a punk photographer whose body is not what it once was, the other a rebellious friend who ignores the teenager's advances. Jamie's coming-of-age is the leitmotif of the film, but it is the 20th-century women – Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, Elle Fanning – who steal the show.
But we're less enthusiastic than the American reviewers. Director Mike Mills claims too much space for himself. We don't mind the autobiographical elements so much as the tedious voice-over, fast-motion shots, nostalgic filter, black and white footage, and other film tricks on the edge between the artistic and the artificial. By overwhelming you, this film about life wisdom gives you surprisingly little time to think.
> US, 2016, dir.: Mike Mills, act.: Annette Bening, Lucas Jade Zumann, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, 119 min.
> UGC De Brouckère