AARP'S top films: Not just for mature audiences only

Talk about your "silver screen." Three big-screen biographies, two midlife comedies and one unconventional romantic drama make up the list of nominees for the fourth annual AARP Best Movies for Grownups Awards. The winners in that and 12 other categories - including best actor, actress, director and screenwriter over 50 - will be announced in the March/April issue of AARP, The Magazine, a publication that reaches 26.5 million readers ages 50 and older.

Movies and performers are chosen on the basis of their appeal to older audiences. Though there's no ceremony, winners receive La Chaise d'Or - The Golden Chair - a whimsical trophy in the shape of a lounge chair.


Bill Newcott, features editor for AARP magazine, says contenders for best movies for grown-ups are good predictors of Oscar picks.

AARP nominees include: The Aviator, Martin Scorsese's biography of Howard Hughes; In Good Company, a funny take on aging baby boomers in the workplace; Kinsey, the story of 1950s sex researcher Alfred Kinsey; The Notebook, a re-creation of Nicholas Sparks' romantic novel; Ray, a biography of Ray Charles; and Sideways, a middle-age-buddy flick.


"There's usually a fair amount of overlap [with the Oscars]," says Newcott, creator of the awards and host of AARP's radio program Movies for Grownups. "Our movies don't have to feature 'older' actors or 'older' subject matter. They do have to have well-developed plots and characters grown-ups can relate to.

"People over 30 buy half of all movie tickets. Hollywood is learning that if it makes intelligent, challenging, entertaining movies, grown-up audiences will wait in line for you."

Like the general population, "we're seeing a graying of the Hollywood establishment, and the result is more and more great movies that appeal to mature audiences," says Newcott.

The Hartford Courant is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.