Magazine article New Internationalist

Twentieth Century Women

Magazine article New Internationalist

Twentieth Century Women

Article excerpt

FILM

Twentieth Century Women (118 minutes)

directed and written by Mike Mills

This is a film with a big title, and not much of a plot, though a lot of little things happen. It's held together by its sense of time and place, and its characters - three young people looking for direction in their lives, the mother of one of them, and an older not-quite hippy. It's Santa Barbara, 1979, and on TV they watch Jimmy Carter just about end his chances of re-election with, during the oil crisis, his 'crisis of confidence' speech condemning 'consumption' and the 'emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose'.

The film, about the characters' search for purpose and confidence, is lightly, breezily, enjoyably done. Dorothea, born in the depression and in her fifties, feels she no longer understands her midteens son, Jamie, whom she wants to grow up to be a 'good man'. …

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