On Saturday, we attended the premiere of Mike Mills’ new movie ’20th Century Women.’ We were able to talk to director/writer Mike Mills as well as one of the stars of the film, Annette Bening.
Those in attendance included cast members Elle Fanning, Billy Crudup and Lucas Jade Zumann. Others who attended were Lesli Klainberg (FSLC Executive Director), Eugene Hernandez (FSLC Deputy Director) and Kent Jones (FSLC Director of the NYFF, Chair of Selection Committee).
20th Century Women depicts Dorothea, played by Annete Bening, as a single mother raising her teenage son Jamie in 1979 Santa Barbara.
Check out our interviews from the premiere!
This film is a unique take on the coming of age story. The voice that you established in your earlier work really shines through, but we see the evolution here; can you speak to that?
Mike Mills: I think each film taught me something that I brought into the next one and Beginners definitely taught me something that I brought into this one. I don’t really see it as a coming of age movie, to me it’s like a relationship movie. It’s a portrait of these women, everyone’s coming of age. Everyone’s kind of figuring themselves out with the help of the other people around them
Another thing that I really love about this is that it captures the essence of the ‘70s, and yet, it doesn’t feel heavy-handed. It’s a new spin on the decade. Can you expand on that as well?
Mike Mills: I grew up in it, so to me it’s not nostalgic or kitsch, it’s a real time with real lives. I didn’t want to make it kitschy. I feel like it’s very historically accurate, through our direction and the music. I feel like it relates to now. I always wanted it to relate to now. I saw it that way.
You have worked with so many incredible directors over the course of your career, but what makes Mike Mills, the director of this film, and his sensibilities as an artist, unique and different?
Annette Bening: Mike is an artist and he’s a very beautiful man. That’s very unusual. He wrote and directed and so I felt very much responsible to do my best for him. I’m playing kind of his mom, but it’s not really his mom, it’s a version of his mom. I wanted to do my best and we were formulating this woman who wasn’t really just his mom, and also it was his version of his mom. We all have a mom and then maybe we all have a different version than, if we have siblings, maybe our siblings do. There’s all these different layers, but I really like Mike a lot. He’s a very special person, I wanted to do it for him.
’20th Century Women’ comes to theaters on December 25.