Magazine article Variety

Unusual Suspects

Magazine article Variety

Unusual Suspects

Article excerpt

The AARP's Movies for Grownups Awards includes all the standard categories you expect to see on a list of film kudos: lead and supporting performances, director, screenplay, best picture. But how many groups also have an award for intergenerational film? Grownup love story? Time capsule?

AARP The Magazine critic Bill Newcott walks us through six of this year's awards unique to the grownup honors.

GROWNUP LOVE STORY Richard Jenkins and Margo Martindale, "The Hollars"

"My sentimental favorite," says Newcott. "That [award] goes back to the earliest days of doing this back in 2002. We were trying to find love stories of people 40 and over that were not Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus - not these frigid frozen people who might have once had a life, but don't anymore. They were hard to find at one time, and now they're not that hard to find." Case in point, this year's honoree: "We really liked that relationship between Margo Martindale and Richard Jenkins; it's very textured. Sometimes [we pick] stories about people who have just met and fall in love, and sometimes they're people in long relationships and still very much in love. The characters are cumulative, they've lived a life and their experiences have brought them to a point where we're meeting them."

INTERGENERATIONAL FILM

"20th Century Women"

Writer-director Mike Mills based the '70s set film on his relationship with his single mother. As Newcott explains, "Annette Bening's character is the center of the wheel for other generations; they all relate to her and through her to each other. The mother-and-son relationship is inevitably intergenerational, but also her relationship with the two younger women [Elle Fanning and Greta Gerwig] at different stages of their lives. She presents her accumulated wisdom to them, but also learns from them. That two-way street is what we look for."

BUDDY PICTURE

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, "Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie"

"They're not normal people," Newcott says with a laugh in describing the iconic British TV characters who made the leap to the big screen last year. "We wanted to find films that celebrated friendship in older life. This is a crazily dysfunctional relationship, they go way back," he adds of Lumley and Saunders' Patsy and Edina. "They know each other's flaws and quirks and shortcomings intimately, and yet the friendship persists; it's probably the only thing keeping them in one piece. …

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