It is no secret that Hollywood tends to favor the young and the beautiful, so much so that many actors past 40 are heavily encouraged to undergo all sorts of procedures to retain their youthful appearance. But every now and then, there comes a film that breaks the mold, and not only tackles aging in an honest and refreshing way but places genuine adult people as the heroes. Here are 10 of the best such movies:
1. Enough Said (2013)
The last film of the late and great James Gandolfini before his tragic death, this humble film tells the story of an unlikely romance between two divorcees who have nearly given up on love. What makes this gem so special is how unpresumptuous it is and unadulterated by the worst of the rom-com clichés.
2. Sing (2016)
A cute little family movie which can appeal to all ages, this animated musical is all about the importance of holding on to your talents and dreams and following your heart, even if it’s just for one spectacular show.
3. A Thousand Clowns (1965)
A brilliant film that melds scathing satire and drama, it is centered around Murray Burns, a non-conformist comedy writer who opted out of the rat-race to focus on raising his nephew to be his own man and learn how to disrupt the heartless system. It is a Don Quixote for the age of careers and cubicles.
4. Gran Torino (2008)
Remember Unforgiven? A revolutionary western about an old, past-his-prime gunslinger trying to make amends for his troubled past? What would happen if you took this gunslinger and put him in a world that’s long since passed him by? Deliberately designed as a western in a very modern world, Gran Torino follows a bitter and old-fashioned bada** widower who is forced to reevaluate his convictions and prejudices.
5. This Must Be the Place (2011)
Cheyenne is a retired and jaded 80’s rock sensation, whose quiet retirement in Dublin is disrupted by news of his estranged father’s impending death. Traveling back to America, he discovers his father was a Holocaust survivor, and that he left his son with one request- to track down a Nazi guard who had abused him in Auschwitz. The following voyage is full of humor, coming to terms with guilt and self-discovery.
6. Up (2009)
As a child, Carl Fredricksen had dreams of grand adventures that were derailed by romance, career and married life. After the tragic loss of his wife, the reclusive Fredricksen is adamant on letting nothing get in the way of the adventure he and his wife planned, but things get tricky when he finds a young stowaway in his “aircraft”.
7. The Intouchables (2011)
Though an English-language adaptation has recently come out to theaters, it is highly recommended to watch the French original. This charming comedy tells the story of the unique and unconventional friendship between Philippe, a wealthy quadriplegic man, and Driss, an unemployed low-income young man who is hired as Philippe’s caregiver.
8. The Wrestler (2008)
A heart-wrenching and all-too-realistic depiction of the world of sideshow “professional wrestling”, Randy “The Ram” Robinson was a huge wrestling star in the ’80s, but the decades have not been kind to his career. Forced to work a double job at a supermarket and local wrestling venues in high school gyms, Randy tries for one last grasp at his past glory while attempting to put his life together and find love.
9. And So It Goes (2014)
A romantic film for the third age starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton, Oren Little is an insufferable misanthrope and a grouch who detests everyone, including children, and is forced to reconsider when his estranged son leaves his daughter in Little’s care. Having forgotten everything about kindness and parenting, he seeks the aid of his next-door neighbor, Leah.
10. Robot and Frank (2012)
An aging and retired burglar, Frank is finding it more and more difficult to adapt to a world run by computers and artificial intelligence. When his son gifts him with a robot, he initially rejects the mechanical companion, until he finds a way to recapture some of his youth and bravado with the aid of his robot friend.
Image source: from Youtube