Popular culture may suffer from youth obsession and the movies may be front and central in perpetuating it all, but older folks have made strides this year in capturing the box office dollar with titles like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Hope Springs. So, why not have the nation's most prominent organization for people hitting their Golden Years weigh in on the year's best movies?
AARP — less popularly known as the American Association of Retired Persons — gave its Top Ten films of the year, joining a chorus of other groups this time of the year giving their lists. The interest group noted that 2012 was "hot for both older movie-goers and movie-makers," citing Golden Globe nominations for Helen Mirren, Richard Gere, Denzel Washington, Bill Murray and Judi Dench.
AARP's picks include titles by directors such as Ben Affleck, David O. Russell and Kathryn Bigelow which feature stars that aren't exactly on the cusp of receiving Social Security benefits, but their picks seem to indicate themes of maturity over age.
AARP dubbed their 2012 best films list as a "Year-end Top Ten Movies for Grownups." Their picks follow:
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
Movies made for older audiences became an issue earlier this year after comments by an actress perfectly comfortable embracing senior citizenry in roles such as the Dowager Countess of Grantham on Downton Abbey and as Muriel Donnelly in box office hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Maggie Smith made waves criticizing Hollywood's youth obsession, pointing out that films that portray older people have historically performed well.
"It seems to me there is a change in what audiences want to see," she said. "I can only hope that's correct, because there's an awful lot of people of my age around now and we outnumber the others. I don't think films about elderly people have been made very much. But I think of [films like] Cocoon and Driving Miss Daisy and they always seem to be fairly successful, so it's a bit baffling as to why everybody has to be treated as if they were five years old."