Here’s the truth: everyone will grow old at one point in their lives no matter how much they want to preserve their youth. Wrinkles, loss of muscle mass, lack of sex drive and other aging symptoms may come knocking at your door. That’s the reality of life. It sounds harsh, but that is how life goes for everyone.
This can leads to depression for some people. As we age, we may start to realize that our kids are getting older, technology is something we no longer understand and movies seem to target the younger audience and feature much younger actors. You may wonder if that is all Hollywood shows these days.
Not really. There are still films that focus on the silver generation, literally speaking. In case you need a pick-me-upper during your downtime or want something that will inspire you about life, here are exceptional films that will make you see there’s a lot of good things about aging.
You might think this animated film targets the kids the younger audience. This is partially true because for one, it is cartoons and two, it is produced by Pixar and released by Walt Disney Pictures. However, if you look closely, Carl Fredricksen, the lead character is an old man – with a balloon obsession.
While watching the movie, you can’t help but be amazed with the talking dog and feel bad for the giant bird. You may even dream of having your own flying house or wonder if Paradise Falls really exist.
Most of us can’t help but fall in love with Russell’s cuteness. Above all this, the film shows that no matter what you’ve been through and how much grudge you are holding, you can still be happy, and that life is still worth living. Admit it. You cried. After all, it shows a great, although brief love story told in three minutes.
2. About Schimdt
Jack Nicholson is one of the most charismatic actors who ever graced the screen. You laughed with him, loathed him and cried with him after doing tons of movies. However, About Schimdt is different. In this movie, he portrayed a bitter, sad and frustrated old man – a character that doesn’t showcase his charisma.
The movie shows Nicholson’s character travelling cross-country to attend his daughter’s wedding. Along the way, he was able to take a good look of his life and realized he is of no use to anyone. Towards the end of the movie, he encounters a new source of hope, which is among the best uplifting endings in the world of movies.
3. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
As you age, you gain and lose many things – your family, friends, possessions, connections and everything you worked for when you were younger. Imagine if everything happened in reverse. This is what The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is all about.
In this movie, Brad Pitt plays Benjamin Button who ages in reverse. He was born looking like an old man and gets “old” but with the physique and vigor of a young man.
Instead of aging together with the people around him, Benjamin Button finds himself losing each one of his loved ones and returns to a place where he has greater needs. Unfortunately, there is no one else left to take care of him.
4. Goodbye, Mr. Chips
There is a bigger chance that you haven’t seen this movie. Apparently, it was shown in 1933 and one of the most emotional films ever made. This classic film is about Mr. Chipping, the headmaster of a British public school and a teacher for 58 years. Throughout the movie, Mr. Chipping will have realizations and recollections of his teaching career, disappointments in life and his love for his wife who died in childbirth.
On his deathbed, someone will pity him for not having a child of his own. Then, he will respond with the most powerful words that will make you respect teachers and even elders – “I thought you said it was a pity… pity I never had children. But you’re wrong. I have thousands of them … thousands of them … and all boys.”
Who says teachers have a cold heart? Apparently not. Go ahead and get that tissue or hanky.
You might associate horror with Japanese films. Decades ago, Japanese filmmakers are not only about making you scream but also making you cry. The perfect example: this 1952 film entitled Ikiru.
You might hear Japanese director Akira Kurosawa and his samurai epics. In this movie, he decided to downplay a bit and touch your heart in a good way.
It stars Takashi Shimura, an aging bureaucrat who found out he has terminal cancer. Instead of panicking and feeling sorry for himself, he focused his energy converting a waste ground into a children’s playground. This film will remind you that small acts of charity and kindness goes a long way. It doesn’t have the type of self-sacrifice you are looking for but there is no doubt that Ikiru is among best quietly powerful and effective films ever made.
6. The Straight Story
This movie teaches you two things. First, all good things come to those who wait. Richard Farnsworth was 79 years at the time he portrayed the lead character, Alvin Straight. Throughout the course of his acting career, Farnsworth was not able to play many lead roles. However, his performance in this movie is truly exceptional and commendable.
Second, old age also offers opportunities, second chances and an opportunity of reconciliation. Straight is a 73-year old man who travels to see his dying brother for the last time. He was denied of a driving license because of poor eyesight and his daughter could not help him since she is somewhat “problematic.”
Determined to see his brother, he uses a tractor-style lawn mower to drive 300 miles to see his brother. In the end, it shows you a moving expression of dignity while confronting the dying of the light.
7. Harold And Maude
May-December love affair is not exactly your choice of happily ever after. However, there are people who don’t mind going out with someone older than they are. This is a classic example of a May-December love affair but with a twist and a lesson to learn.
Harold and Maude is about a wealthy 20-year old young man named Harold who is obsessed with death and spends time attending funerals and pretending to commit suicide.
While in a funeral, he meets Maude, a 79-year old free-spirited woman who opened his eyes and changed his perspective of life. On Maude’s 80th birthday, Harold organized a surprise party for her and plans on proposing. Apparently, Harold had a surprise of his life. Towards the end of the story, he finds the truth about life as Maude’s life ends.
8. Gran Torino
Clint Eastwood, despite his old age, is a cultural icon of masculinity. When you hear his name, you picture him wearing almost anything and yet pull it off – but with a gun. He didn’t disappoint in this 2008 film, Gran Torino.
In this movie, Eastwood, who also directed the film, plays Walt Kowalski, a widower who can’t get along with anyone. He is also an unhappy, grumpy and tough-minded Korean War veteran who refuses to change along with the world around him. However, he has one most prized possession – his 1972 Gran Torino.
When Thao, a teenager, tries to steal his Gran Torino under pressure from gang members, Kowalski finds himself taking steps to protect people from gangs that destroy neighborhoods. Clint Eastwood definitely did an excellent job in putting himself in a powerful morality play. You could feel better after watching it, too.
9. No Country For Old Men
One of the biggest dilemmas faced by older generation is adapting to how the world is changing. This is the issue faced by Tommy Lee Jones’ Sheriff Bell character faces.
Josh Brolin plays the part of Llewelyn Moss, who discovers messy drug cartel violence and takes the two million dollars for himself. Later on, Javier Bardem, who plays the part of Anton Chigurh, finds Moss and ruthlessly kills everyone who stands in his way and his money. Sheriff Bell oversees the investigation and starts to see the country he so loved in a different light.
Apparently, it’s not just the typical cat-and-mouse chase. The real focus here is Sheriff Bell and how he came to understand his place in the universe.
10. Wild Strawberries
This is another classic movie about old age. In this film, Dr. Isak Borg is a 78-year old former medical doctor and professor with a cold demeanor who refuses any form of human contact. He is about to accept an honorary degree and decides to go from Stockholm to Lund by car.
During his journey, he came to realize and reminisce parts of his life. He also finds himself affected by dreams and hallucinations, which exposed his darkest fears, thanks to the people he met along the way.
Eventually, he comes to realize that he was living a cold and empty life, which reflects the choices he made early on. Towards the end, he was able to turn things around through forgiveness.
These movies are not meant to make you feel bad about yourself. Rather, they allow you to reflect on the life that was and be thankful for what you have.
Who’s ready for a movie marathon?
Please follow and like us: