20th Century Women captures ‘70s groove


(COURTESY/MERRICK MORTON/FOCUS FEATURES) Elle Fanning (above) plays maladaptive day dreamer and deep thinker Julie to a tee. Her interpretation of the self-destructive 17-year-old captures audiences’ attention and evokes emotion.


Indie drama 20th Century Women has been sweeping up award season and for good reason. It appeals to everyone despite portraying itself as a bit of a chick flick.

The main moral is definitely a feminist one, but it avoids coming off as too preachy or abrasive which has been a recent problem in the film world. It teaches a lesson while not shaming you for not comprehending it in the first place. To a certain degree the moral could even be interpreted as “It’s okay to not understand everything”

The cinematography in this film is sublime. The color palettes perfectly execute the ‘70s vibe of the movie as it takes place in that decade. Beautiful shots of the bay and the soft sort of lush, dreamy color scheme convey the ‘70s vibe really well.

The palette and soundtrack go together perfectly to simulate the seventies. All the songs were perfectly picked for the film and the kind of feel it provided. You know like that really soft “Wow, I am so young and the world is so big” kind of vibe.

The soundtrack and cinematography really keeps your attention held if the plot wasn’t enough. This brings me to my next point the plot was rich. All the characters have their own storyline but it somehow doesn’t make the plot too busy or hard to follow because they all coincide with one another. The flawless layering of plots is most likely the reason that 20th Century Women is nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

This is one of those movies where I think there is one character that each person sees themselves in the most.

I personally identified the most with Julie (Elle Fanning) in part due to her last monologue about attending a college in a big city and running away to France with her boyfriend (something I’ve always dreamed of).

I’d even go as far to say that Elle won over my affection to the point where she has now replaced her older sister, Dakota, as my favorite Fanning. While Fanning played my favorite character, I have to praise Annette Bening for her interpretation of Dorothy Fields, the protective yet calm matriarch Dorothea Fields. Annette did an immaculate job at conveying emotion and concern through someone who doesn’t show much of it. I feel personally offended that someone could snub her for a best-actress nomination.

Now while I do appreciate this movie and have a great liking for it I do have one qualm.The amount of angsty teens who are going to just thrive off of this movie is unsettling. With all the scenes romanticizing self-destructive behavior and drug use it was hard to contain my eye rolling at certain points.

Just while watching I could easily picture these scenes with the quote captioned underneath on my tumblr dashboard and thousands of reblogs and notes.

I wish they hadn’t tried so hard to appeal to teenage audiences, as a teenager I can say they really missed the mark with their overly edgy allure.