She’s “from the Depression.” She’s extreme. Dorothea is played by Annette Bening in “20th Century Women,” essayist/chief Mike Mills’ great third element film, and it’s one of the best exhibitions of the year (and one of Bening’s own best also).
Factories is one serious author. That was obvious in his second component, “Apprentices,” where Christopher Plummer gave an Oscar-winning execution as a father who exposed the unadulterated truth at age 75. “Amateurs” was about Mills’ dad; “20th Century Women” is about his mom. Together the movies frame bookend stories of affection, tribute and funeral poem. John Steinbeck composed East of Eden, to a limited extent, for his two children, to demonstrate to them what his youth had been similar to, what Salinas Valley resembled once upon a time, what their progenitors resembled.