Creative flourishes come fast and furious in 20th Century Women, an ensemble drama from writer-director Mike Mills (Thumbsucker). At the center is Dorothea (Annette Bening), a single mother to a teenage boy in 1979 California who is restoring an expansive mansion and has taken on a couple of boarders. This makes for an unusual adolescence for her son Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), who ends up being partially raised by the punk photographer (Greta Gerwig) and hippie car mechanic (Billy Crudup) who rent separate rooms in the home. (Elle Fanning plays the other major character, a promiscuous neighbor who sneaks into Jamie’s room most nights just to talk, much to his frustration.) As you can see, Mills is juggling a lot, character-wise, and he adds onto it a series of colliding aesthetic choices. The voiceover narration switches repeatedly, so that some characters narrate others’ stories as well as their own. Meanwhile, car trips up and down the Pacific coast are shot with a blurred, psychedelic visual scheme that doesn’t always fit the mood of the moment. There is also an extensive use of fast-motion, which I found more compelling; for most of these characters (but particularly for this mother and son), this is a season of life in which everything seems to be happening too quickly, with changes occurring before they can fully grasp them. If slow-motion is too often abused in movies, 20th Century Women made me wonder if fast-motion isn’t used enough.