February 26, 2016

Top 10 Movies about Aging

Have you had just about enough of action thrillers, space epics and teen-age love?  Me too.  That’s why I set out to make a list of my first movies starring….mature people.

In honor of the Academy Awards,  I have chosen my 10 favorites.  In fact, I was surprised how many good movies I found that celebrate aging. Chances are, there are others that deserve a top slot. But these are the ones I settled on.

  1. Driving Miss Daisy (1989). An old Jewish woman her black chauffeur in the American South have a relationship that grows and improves over the years.   Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman in a classic that covers topics of bigotry, racism, age and independence.

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2. The Bucket List (2007) Two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip. Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.  Mmmmm…Morgan’s name comes up a lot in this list.

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3. Calendar Girls (2003) A Women’s Institute Chapter’s members lead a fundraising effort for a local hospital by posing nude for a calendar. Helen Mirren, among others.

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4. Rooster Cogburn (1975) The Marshall teams up with Eula Goodnight to track down her father’s killers. John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn.

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5. The Lion In Winter (1968) King Henry II’s three sons all want to inherit the throne, but he won’t commit to a choice. They and his wife variously plot to force him. Peter O’Toole and Katherine Hepburn.

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6. On Golden Pond (1981) Norman is a curmudgeon with an estranged relationship with his daughter Chelsea. At Golden Pond, he and his wife nevertheless agree to care for Billy, the son of Chelsea’s new boyfriend, and a most unexpected relationship blooms. Especially interesting to watch the interaction between real-life father and daughter, Henry and Jane Fonda. With Katherine Hepburn.

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7. Oh God (1977) When God appears to an assistant grocery manager as a good natured old man, the Almighty selects him as his messenger for the modern world. Absolutely no one is better at playing God than George Burns. Okay, well maybe Morgan Freeman too.  With John Denver.

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8. The Sunshine Boys (1975) A vaudeville duo agree to reunite for a TV special, but it turns out that they can’t stand each other. Walter Matthau and George Burns.

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9. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than advertised, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways. Judi Dench. Maggie Smith.

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10. Cocoon (1985) When a group of trespassing seniors swim in a pool containing alien cocoons, they find themselves energized with youthful vigour.Don Ameche. Wilford Brimley.

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Now that I think about it, there are several others I’d like to include….Tea with Mussolini, Up, I’m Not Rappaport. Sunday in the Country. Quartet. Gran Torino. Wild Strawberries. Even Indiana Jones—the one with Sean Connery.  So many classic actors, so many classic films.

Let me know if I have missed one of your favorites.  Have fun watching!

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