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San Francisco International Film Fest Opens with Mike Mills' Beginners, with McGregor & Plummer

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 8, 2011 at 7:30AM

The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival will open April 21 at the Castro Theatre with Beginners, from writer-director Mike Mills (Thumbsucker). The movie, which stars sexy couple Ewan McGregor and Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) and Christopher Plummer in rare form as a gay man fighting against the dying of the light, played well at Toronto, where it was acquired by Focus Features. The festival, which usually draws an audience of over 75,000 people and gives out 15 jury awards, will feature 200 films.
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Thompson on Hollywood


The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival will open April 21 at the Castro Theatre with Beginners, from writer-director Mike Mills (Thumbsucker). The movie, which stars sexy couple Ewan McGregor and Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) and Christopher Plummer in rare form as a gay man fighting against the dying of the light, played well at Toronto, where it was acquired by Focus Features. The festival, which usually draws an audience of over 75,000 people and gives out 15 jury awards, will feature 200 films.

SFIFF programming director Rachel Rosen says that Beginners has "a playfully inventive sense of style, grounded by the film's emotional honesty. This charming and humane glimpse into the thorny nature of contemporary relationships is a fantastic way to launch the International's 15-day cinematic exploration of contemporary global society." More information on the festival is here. Here is the trailer.


This article is related to: Directors, Festivals, Genres, San Francisco, Drama, comedy


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.