Set in 1979 Santa Barbara, right at the time of President Jimmy Carter's famous "Crisis of Confidence" speech, the film stars Annette Bening as Dorothea Fields, a single mother who recruits a little help in raising her adolescent son (newcomer Lucas Jade Zumann). That help consists of a spirited punk photographer (Greta Gerwig) and a provocative young neighbor (Elle Fanning) who impart on him different life lessons during the culturally tumultuous era. Billy Crudup and Alia Shawkat co-star.
Just as Beginners was obviously very personal to Mills, the same goes for 20th Century Women which he has called "an ode to the women who raised me". Bold words. New York Film Festival will host the world premiere next month, followed by a theatrical release on Christmas Day.