Tag Archives: AARP

Movies For Grownups Awards Achieving Higher Prominence

Sharon Stone plants one on Kathy Griffin

This week’s 2012 AARP Movies for Grownups Awards brought out many of Hollywood’s brightest luminaries — including Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Martin Scorsese, Kenneth Branagh, Janet McTeer, Alexander Payne and still hot Sharon Stone — adding to the elegant event’s distinction as an Awards Season Must.  As the New York Times put it, it seems that “the Movies for Grownups had finally, well, grown up.”

We applaud AARP’s persistent efforts toward breaking through the wall of ageism.  Making those efforts in the ageism capital of the world — Hollywood — is particularly noteworthy.  Here, ageism is not only accepted, it’s not only embraced, it is clung to with a ferocity that speaks of barely-hidden terror.  (Think Demi Moore.)  However, with the graying of the Baby Boom generation and other factors making moviegoers of age 50 and up increasingly important to box office revenue, more filmmakers and stars will be reaching out to the mature crowd.  Next, we’d like to see Movies for Grownups on television.

Speaking of the TV side, the standard ratings classifications are archaic statistically — like using a mortar and pestle when you have a Cuisinart, with today’s technology offering far more sophisticated and meaningful data crunching capabilities.  (David Poltrack, Chief Research Officer of CBS Corp. has long been trying to educate people about this.)  And yet, we continue to see the phrase “the coveted 18-49 demographic” over and over and over again.  (Lazy TV writers really should come up with at least one or two different adjectives besides “coveted.”)  Networks and media continue to quote only the ratings for viewers under age 50.  Yet the 55-plus audience reportedly reached 33 per cent of the adult population last year.  In 2015, it’s expected to reach 36 per cent.  That’s a heck of a lot of ignoring.

Tony Bennett Thinks Gaga Will Be Bigger Than Elvis

Tony Bennett

Lady Gaga will be bigger than Elvis? Well, maybe — in the opinion of none other than beloved 85-year-old crooner Tony Bennett, who calls her a “magnificent, magnificent performer.”

In an interview carried on AARP.org, Tony points out that at his age, he’s
worked with pretty much everyone who’s anyone on the music scene, and he says of Gaga, “I’ve never seen anybody that intelligent when it comes to knowing how to perform properly.”

Bennett, of course, has his highly anticipated “Duets II” album coming out
Tuesday (Sept. 20) with Gaga as part of a lineup of stellar partners — a roster that also includes Carrie Underwood, Aretha Franklin, Michael Buble and the late Amy Winehouse.  Carrie will join Tony onstage Sept. 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles — along with John Mayer and Stevie Wonder — for a special concert benefitting the Drive to End Hunger, the national effort by AARP and the AARP Foundation to end food deprivation among older Americans. The concert comes at the end of the organization’s giant Life@50+ National Event, Sept. 22-24 at the LA Convention Center. (See AARP.org for information.)

Art of Film is Ageless At Swanky, Star-Studded AARP Movies for Grownups Awards

Lori Loughlin

LORI LOUGHLIN LEAVING ‘90210’ ON ‘BEST OF TERMS’

Lori Loughlin says she has no regrets about departing “90210” and is leaving the CW show “on the very best of terms.”  Lori, who’s been playing mom to Shenae Grimes and Tristan Wilds on the series since 2008, departs at season’s end as the show’s young cast of characters graduates from high school and heads off into college life.

“The CW has a demographic and they need to write to that demographic and I think the CW does that really well, you know?” she says.

“I think, for me, it’s time to creatively move on, because there’s not that much for me to do, and again, I understand and I have no hard feelings.”

Not that Loughlin’s character has lacked for drama through the years, with her own hot romances and a rivalry with Jennie Garth that heated up in Season 2.  Garth told us recently that she disliked the direction “90210” has been taking.  Loughlin says, “You know, I think it’s fine.  Jennie had a different attachment to the show.  ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ was her show for so many years, and she felt protective, almost motherly toward it.  Along comes the new incarnation, and I don’t think she was happy with what they were doing.  But for me, I had no attachment to the old version, so I was completely fine with it.  I also thought it was a whole different show.  Also, I think she had some issues with what they wanted to do with her character, and I understand that, because nobody knows that character better than Jennie.  So at times I think she felt like they were misrepresenting Kelly.”

As for what Loughlin will do next, the mother of 11 and 12-year-old daughters, and wife of designer Mossimo Giannulli says, “I’m going to take a moment and breathe before I jump back into anything.  I love television, but a series is a grind and so I just want to take a moment before I make any decisions.”

Robert Redford

MEANWHILE:  We caught up with Loughlin at this week’s 10th Annual Movies for Grownups Awards, the elegant event honoring the best of 2010 films appealing to mature moviegoers, put on by AARP at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.  Sally Field, Tony Bennett, Angela Lansbury, Larry Hagman, Jacqueline Bisset, Mickey Rooney and dozens of other names were there to celebrate honorees including Lifetime Achievement Award winner Robert Redford.  Winners on hand included “The King’s Speech” Best Actor Colin Firth; Best Actress Lesley Manville (“Another Year”); Best Supporting Actress Phylicia Rashad (“For Colored Girls”); Andy Garcia, picking up Best Comedy Film honors for his “City Island”; and Rob Reiner, receiving his theater seat statuette for the Best Intergenerational Film, his charming “Flipped.”  Rob congratulated the AARP for making their award look less like an electric chair than it used to.

AGELESS:  “The King’s Speech” screenwriter David Seidler admitted to the crowd that initially, it was assumed that the film “would be seen by nobody under 40.  It was basically made for this audience.  I didn’t quite buy into that, and I was delighted when we realized that a youthful audience was able to see and enjoy this film.  They understood the teasing.  They understood the bullying.  They understood being marginalized.  They understood bravery. And they understood the power of a supportive friendship.  What that means to me is that film is universal and it doesn’t make any difference what age you are” — a view supported by the fact the film has now surpassed the $150 million mark in box office grosses.

He added, “If you still have a brain you can still be a pain and make a contribution to the art and commerce of film…I would like to think we can view this and see ‘Toy Story 3’ and love it, and the audience that ‘Toy Story 3’ was made for can see this film and love it.”

Jane Seymour ABC photo

SAY WHAT?:  Jane Seymour, ravishing in a form-hugging red cocktail dress, made it clear she is squarely in “The King’s Speech” camp, telling us “I loved it in every possible way.  Since I played Wallis Simpson years ago, I sort of had an inside feeling for that particular movie.  I know what went on.”

Jane’s own latest effort, the current “Waiting for Forever” — she’s a producer on the film directed by husband James Keach, not a star — has met with mixed response.  “People are seeing it and loving it.  Some of the critics don’t get it.  One of them talked about it being about stalkers, and said it’s irresponsible to make a movie like that with what happened in Arizona.  I thought, ‘What in the world has that got to do with this movie?'” admitted Jane.  That is a strange take on the off-beat comedy in which Tom Sturridge plays a street performing juggler who wants to court the love of his life, “The O.C.’s” Rachel Bilson.  Jane’s feeling about that critic:  “Clearly, he saw another movie.  It’s wild.  But anyway, I’m very proud of it.”

Martin Landau

AND:  Martin Landau also told us he’s a fan of “The King’s Speech” and is impressed by “The Town” as well.  “Ben Affleck is a really good director,” noted Landau, the 82-year-old Oscar winner who still heads The Actors Studio’s West Coast branch — and keeps up a schedule demanding enough to daunt folks half his age.  Currently, “I’m doing Tim Burton’s new ‘Frankenweenie,’ his new animated feature.  And I’m doing ‘The Simpsons,'” added Landau, whose tender “Lovely, Still” love story with Ellen Burstyn is newly out on DVD this month. “Then there’s a script I’m reading now, a two-character road picture.  I like it, so I may do it.  A bunch of stuff is going on.  That’s better than not, right?”  Right.