Golden Globe-nominated comedy drama '20th Century Women'

HAVING become a mother relatively late on, in her 40s, Dorothea turns to the women in her life to help raise her teenage son in a rapidly changing 1970s West Coast USA. Bone up on awards season contender 20th Century Women with our short preview.

Who's in it and what's it about?

Inspired by the director's own youthful experiences, 20th Century Women has three women teaming up to help the eldest's young son grow up during a time of social upheaval in the 1970s.

Golden Globe winner Annette Benning plays Dorothea, who recruits Abbie (Greta Gerwig, Jackie) and Julie (Elle Fanning, Maleficent) to her cause.

Lucas Jade Zumann of horror film Sinister 2 switches genres as Dorothea's son, with Billy Crudup as ex-hippie handyman William (fellow 20th century pop culture period piece Almost Famous), another of Dorothea's lodgers.

Who's behind it?

Music video and commercial director Mike Mills makes his third feature film with 20th Century Women.

His debut, Thumbsucker, was nominated for Sundance's Grand Jury Prize and for Best First Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards, while Christopher Plummer won an Oscar for his performance in Mills's second movie, Beginners.

Is it any good?

With a swift festival run that started at October's New York Film Festival, R-rated 20th Century Women has gone over well enough to net it two Golden Globe nominations and two more at the Independent Spirit Awards, with Annette Benning up for Best Actress at both events -- not to mention nods for the separate Gotham Awards and Satellite Awards.

Hence a 91% approval rating on a 8.2/10 average score from reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, though Metacritic pegs it slightly lower at 77/100, and the near-300 IMDb user reviews were less impressed still at a 6.7/10 averaged tally.

When's it out?

Taking advantage of an end-of-year festive season, 20th Century Women releases in the US from December 28; a UK and Irish date has been announced for February 10, with its French opening set for March 1. — AFP Relaxnews