New theme aesthetic: Annette Bening

What the fuck is a theme aesthetic? Who knows! Who cares!? Not this free bird.

Have you seen 20th Century Women yet? If not, wait no more—it is weirdly delightful and well worth your time. My favorite things about it were, in uncertain order, Billy Crudup, Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, the kid who plays the kid, and the Fanning sister. In short, I loved everybody. Whether or not you will love it depends on how you react to this description, from a recent New Yorker profile of writer/director Mike Mills: "The film’s only adult male is William, an earnest mechanic who makes his own shampoo." For me that's solid cinematic goddamn gold, and Billy Crudup sells it like a sad, befuddled champ. (The profile itself is notable for every line spoken by Mills' wife, Miranda July, but especially this part: "Much as July loves her husband’s work, she remains mystified by the gap between his actual childhood—“You could hug Mike for a long time, and it wouldn’t be enough”—and these glowing portraits. “It’s almost what you would do in some spiritual practice,” she said. “A devotion to an absence.” How clearly do you need to be able to see and describe a person to come up with a reading like that? I was also struck by this, from director Joachim Trier, because it describes another of my favorite visual/tonal/philosophical vibes: “There’s a Todd Rundgren-ness to Mike’s work, a Steely Dan coolness, the melancholy low light of a late California afternoon in Laurel Canyon.”)

Anyway, Annette Bening is my new theme aesthetic, is what this post is supposed to be about. Obviously I've had a lot of coffee this morning. But look at how gorgeous and comfortable and chill she is, all fully adult glamour without being at all fussy: