12 Must Watch Movies for Seniors
Make movies an integral part of your retired life. Watching a movie with your loved ones around you will not only rejuvenate your mind, but also act as a great way of social and familial bonding. Moreover, watching the right kind of movie can be an extremely uplifting experience and lend a new meaning to your life. You will soon find out that you are not the only one facing the trials and tribulations associated with advanced age – and standing up to these challenges can actually be a fascinating journey towards self realization.
A large number of movies have been made over the years with seniors as the protagonist or in some important supporting role. You will not be short of movies to pique your interest. We provide you with a list of what we think are 12 must watch movies for seniors:
Wild Strawberries: ‘Wild Strawberry’ is Bergman’s immortal take on senior psychology, executed with great sympathy and the keen insight that we have come to expect from this artist of the highest order. See your truest emotions and thoughts reflected through the eyes of arguably the greatest directors of our times.
As Good as It Gets:
Melvin Udall, an OCD patient and an eccentric novelist; Carol Connelley a waitress at a neighborhood diner and a single mother with an ailing son to look after; and Simon Bishop, Udall’s homosexual and artist neighbor strike an unlikely chord. Their relationships develop in strange ways as they try to come into terms with their personal problems and past tragedies. Jack Nicholson gives a superb performance as the slightly oddball novelist, matched by Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear in the other two major roles. It is a very refreshing and rejuvenating movie – you know how a life in tangles, is still meaningful.
This British comedy starring Julie Walters and Helen Mirren is a celebration of the human will – the heights it can scale for a cause. Twelve middle aged Yorkshire women shed their inhibitions, and their clothes, to raise fund for leukemia research at the local Women’s Institute. The movie shows how advanced years can be fun and meaningful simultaneously.
This beautifully executed fantasy revolves round the eternal elderly desire to be young and daring once again. Three unassuming US seniors living in a retirement home find themselves in the midst of strange events of cosmic dimensions. By the end of the movie they escape to a planet named Anterea on a spaceship for an eternity of life and health; saving plant earth from another unwarranted alien intervention in the process.
Celebrated Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu’s classic cinematic narrative on old age is universal in its appeal. An elderly couple find themselves confronted with apathy, unconcern, ungratefulness and selfish cruelty, when they visit their children in Tokyo. The movie gradually develops into a moving meditation on the themes of temporal transience and mortality.
Driving Miss Daisy:
Made in the 1950s when vestiges of racism were still strong in parts of America’s life and mind, this movie is a touching tale of friendship and trust. Hoke, an African American, develops a relationship that breaks racial barrier with an elderly Jewish widow, whose car he drives. Adapted from an Alfred Uhry play of the same name, the movie tracks the development of the relationship for over a period of two decades.
Back to School:
This comedy is about the rich but formally uneducated businessman Thornton Melon’s return to school, to inspire his uninterested son to complete his college years and understand the value of education. He becomes a campus hit because of his affluence and wild ways, and hated for his dubious ways to earn a degree. The lesson that Melon learns – money cannot buy everything, not education for sure. The lesson that everyone learns – parents are precious and the real world is a tough place.
Grumpy Old Men:
This 1993 movie directed by Donald Petrie has John (Jack Lemmon) and Max (Walter Matthau) playing neighbors who were once friends but are now enemies for about fifty years. Ariel, a widow arrives in the neighborhood to stay, and things take a turn for the worse as each try to vie for her affection. Their feud, however, ends in the resolution of the neighbors’ long time misunderstandings. The movie ends in reconciliation, marriage of Max and Ariel and the death of John.
Father of the Bride:
Even grown ups need to grow up, and this movie is an entertaining statement of this fact. George Banks is a middle class man, quite ordinary in all respects, only that he cannot accept the fact that his daughter, Annie, is now a woman and can handle her life alone. He becomes nervous when Annie, the daughter decides to marry a man from the upper class. However, with the help of his wife, he finally comes to terms with the changing times and people.
Children of Nature:
This movie from Fridrik Thor Fridriksson defies categorization. Gierri, the elderly protagonist, flees the tormenting life of a retirement home with Stella, a widow and inmate, to face death with bravery and abandon in the Icelandic fjords. Cowed down by a life of drudgery and impatient with betrayal and helpless resignation to death, the elderly couple decide to challenge death and advancing age with a vengeance. Great plot and great acting make the movie a must watch for seniors.
This is a tale of love – a love that survives a lifetime of trials, separations and impediments. ‘Duke’, an old man reads from a notebook to an ailing old woman in a nursing home, whose memory is deserting her by the day. The notebook tells the story of Noah and Allie, lovers who were separated because of their difference in social and economic standing. After seven years of patient wait, Allie marries Lon – a rich soldier, only to find soon that Noah still has the flame living for her. She has to make a choice. The movie has a twist, and you have to watch it to know it. It is a great romantic treat for the elderly people.
Legends of the Fall:
This movie is narrated in an epic scale. Set in the American wilderness of Rocky Mountains, Montana, it depicts an intense filial bonding between three brothers challenged by the entry of a woman – Susanna. A fascinating tale of love, friendship, brotherhood and betrayal, the panorama of emotions covered by the movie is of epic proportions. Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins and Aidan Quinn play the leads. Prohibition and pre-War America features prominently in this period drama.