Charming, warm, melancholy, sad, happy, strong, free, disappointed, humourous, and perhaps, a beginning of love or a relationship. So do you settle for a giraffe, while waiting to have a lion? That’s what Hal (Christopher Plummer) says to his son Oliver (Ewan McGregor).
Hal comes out of his closet at 75 after his wife dies.
Oliver saw their parents were in a love-less relationship, despite his mom, Georgia(Mary Page Keller), said she was the most emotional among them three. Oliver carries the burden of not making the same mistake that their parents did, and was in four serial relationships, until his father died and met Anna (Mélanie Laurent). Anna’s family is no better than Oliver’s; Anna’s father is suicidal. Both are at the point of finding being alone is not the solution.
This film flows, and likens to listening to a piece of music. Hal is there to remind us that it is never too late to discover who one truly is, and what one truly loves or is in love with. In other words, even someone a bit eccentric( see I judge) like Andy (Goran Visnjic) and an old man, Hal, or perhaps, a sex-less and emotion-less 44 years conjugal relationship. In fact, many people are in love with their pets, but is that taboo? Oliver cannot leave Arthur alone, is that perversion or love? See if you only see love between a man and a woman, you will see perversion, if you don’t, then no. Isn’t that how some judge gay relationship? So it’s all about perspective after all, isn’t it? and the film certainly reminds us: Hal sees stage four means the progression from one to two to three; Oliver sees it’s terminal, cause there is no stage five cancer. Both are correct, but does it mean Oliver is a realist and Hal’s a dreamer? who to judge!
The point is there are no set rules for love or to be and stay in a loving relationship, one must sample it on their own term. At the end of the day, one must constantly question one’s notion about what it is and challenge it: like caterpillar Anna and Oliver begin.
Definitely not a film for someone who is deeply religious, but for those who want to see a well made film, writer director(Mike Mills), you should RENT it.