Beginners is a film that shows how being open to change and unexpected surprises can allow you to grow. The movie follows the story of the main character, Oliver, played by Ewan McGregor. Growing up, Oliver always felt that there was something a bit different about his family, although they looked completely normal from the outside. After his mother dies when Oliver is a young man, he realizes what the issue with his family was. Once his wife has passed on, Oliver's father, Hal, played by Academy Award-winning actor Christopher Plummer, comes out as a gay man.
Hal begins dating men and throwing parties for his gay friends. Having always thought of his father as a straight man, Oliver is completely disconcerted. He realizes how silly it is to worry about this, however, when his father is diagnosed with cancer. Although Hal continues to have a great time and becomes closer to his boyfriend, no one can evade the fact that he is dying.
After Hal's death, Oliver continues to struggle with the mixed emotions he had for his father. The upbeat, happy man his father was at the end of his life makes Oliver question why he is unhappy in his own life. Oliver becomes even more confused when he meets a young French actress named Anna.
Anna is everything that Oliver could have hoped for in a girlfriend. She is beautiful, sweet and caring. Anna and Oliver click right away and begin spending as much time together as possible. However, Oliver is still reminiscing about his father and can't seem to come to terms with his death. Although Anna tries to be as supportive as possible, Oliver's depression turns to clinginess and begins to drive a wedge between the two of them.
As the film progresses, Oliver realizes that he must come to terms with his father's life and death if he hopes to have a meaningful relationship with Anna in the future.