Tonight marks the opening of the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival. This evening’s festivities include a two-for-one event featuring a rousing party and Berkeley’s own Mike Mills with his new movie “Beginners”.

“Beginners” follows a hipster graphic artist, Ewan McGregor. There’s no singing or lightsaber duels, but instead, our fair-skinned protagonist learns how to love a sweet actress while coming to terms with the loss of his recently out-of-the-closet father.

Mills’ gentle hand lends itself well to this tale of a son, weaving his way toward happiness. “Beginners” features an understated elegance and delicate mix of wittiness and emotional investigation, melding itself into a hearty, personal journey. We can’t tell you much more — fest organizers have asked reviewers to hold full reviews until the film is released in theaters.

“Beginners” includes a cast featuring Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent, and Goran Visnjic (Dr. Luka!!!). And this evening, Mills and McGregor will host a post-show Q&A.

What: San Francisco International Film Festival: Opening Night Film and After-Party, featuring “Beginners”, directed by Mike Mills
When: April 21, screening at 7PM, party at 9:30PM
Where: Movie screening at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street @ Market Street; After-party at Terra, 511 Harrison Street
Tickets: Film and party $75 members/$90 general, VIP tickets $125 members/$150 general; online

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the author

Becca Klarin writes about dance. Her first stage role was at the age of four, where she dressed in a brightly colored bumble bee tutu and black patent leather taps shoes. She remembers bright lights and spinning in circles with her eleven other bees, but nothing more. Becca also has an affinity for things beginning with the letter "P", including Pizzetta 211, Fort Point, pilates, parsvakonasana, and plies.

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