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‘Beginners’ is moving film about older gay father, son

Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor in

Writer/director Mike Mills’ father did something bold at the age of 75: After his wife of 45 years passed away, he came out of the closet as gay. That autobiographical story is the basis of the new film “Beginners,” opening next week in Atlanta.

In the film, the bombshell revelation comes from the mouth of Hal (Christopher Plummer) to his surprised son Oliver (Ewan McGregor).  Hal isn’t interested in being quietly gay either: He wants to go out and find a new partner, even as he battles illness.  How he goes about leading his life eventually parallels the relationship of Oliver, who has romantic issues of his own, has with an actress (Melanie Laurent) with her own baggage.

Although Mills based the film on his own family circumstances, it isn’t a mirror image.