A new L.A. Times story by Steven Zeitchik looks at some recent, and not so recent, films that examine seniority and mortality. Some of these films, like “Get Low,” even touch on the topic of funeral planning! From the story:
LOS ANGELES – For years, the movie business has blown past older audiences.
Could the breezes finally be changing direction?
Hollywood is, of course, still persistently, obsessively interested in young audiences. Yet in certain quarters, at least, it’s a little less about the prepubescents these days. Two of the most notable action movies of 2010 were “The Expendables” and “Red” – films that not only prominently feature actors over 55 but that also turn characters’ length of tooth into central plotlines.
Some of the end-of-year crop of serious movies, meanwhile, submit that a character’s twilight years represent the most interesting phase of his or her existence. “Barney’s Version” tells of a man (Paul Giamatti) who’s lived a full but complicated life and enters old age as feisty as ever. The Robert Duvall-starring “Get Low” describes an eccentric hermit who throws his own funeral while still alive. “True Grit” examines a down-and-out bounty hunter (Jeff Bridges) who finds redemption despite a jaded temperament forged by decades of doing the same difficult work.
And in Mike Leigh’s “Another Year,” perhaps the most age-explicit film of the bunch, a graying middle-class couple (Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen) form the center of a constellation of dysfunctional friends and family.
What in the name of Betty White is happening?