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AARP The Magazine Announces The Winners Of Its Twelfth Annual Movies For Grownups Awards

Best Films for the 50+ Audience Lauded in AARP The Magazine’s February/March 2013 Issue


Brenae Leary

Michelle Alvarez,


Best Films for the 50+ Audience Lauded in AARP The Magazine’s February/March 2013 Issue

WASHINGTON (January 31, 2013) The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has snagged the title of 2012’s overall Best Movie for Grownups Award from the editors of AARP The Magazine. The Movies for Grownups Awards honor outstanding films with storylines, performances and filmmaking that have distinct relevance to the 50+ audience. This year’s top acting honors go to Judi Dench, “Best Actress,” for her standout performance as a recently widowed woman in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; Denzel Washington, “Best Actor,” for his powerful portrayal of a deeply troubled pilot in Flight; John Goodman, “Best Supporting Actor,” for his depiction of the ever-cheerful drug dealer in Flight; and Jacki Weaver, “Best Supporting Actress,” for her brave rendering as Delores in Silver Linings Playbook. Steven Spielberg gets “Best Director” for Lincoln; Argo is named “Best Time Capsule”; and Dustin Hoffman receives the Breakthrough Accomplishment” award for his directorial debut, Quartet.

AARP The Magazine is proud to celebrate movies that engage grownup audiences with challenging topics, thoughtful new approaches and sterling work by actors, directors and writers age 50+, all at the top of their games,” said Nancy Perry Graham, editor-in-chief of AARP The Magazine. “Our readers rely on us to cut out the kid stuff and highlight the movies that matter most to them, and industry wide, we’ve seen a significant increase in the last few years in films and roles being created catering to older audiences. We’re hopeful the trend will continue!”

Before voting on this year’s winners, the editors of AARP The Magazine spent more than 100 hours screening 2012’s eligible Hollywood studio and independent films. Additionally, readers were invited to participate and vote for their pick for “Best Movie for Grownups” online. After thousands of online votes, the 2012 Reader’s Choice Award went to the box office hit Lincoln

The 12th Annual Movies for Grownups® Award winners are as follow:

Best Movie for Grownups: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

A group of British retirees (an all-star cast including Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and Tom Wilkinson) take off to live in a “restored” luxury hotel in India, only to find themselves pummeled by culture shock, dashed expectations and the cold reality of their own mortality. Every laugh, each tear, is authentically earned thanks to Ol Parker’s knowing script and John Madden’s smart direction—which consists largely of pointing the camera at his amazing cast and letting ’em go.

Best Actress 50+: Judi Dench, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
It’s an ensemble film, for sure, but that just makes Dench’s standout performance as the recently widowed Evelyn all the more remarkable. Her eyes agleam with hope (mixed with girlish insecurity), Dench has us rooting for her from the start.

Best Actor 50+: Denzel Washington, Flight
Whip Whitaker is a drugged-out frayed wire who somehow pilots an airliner. In a career-crowning performance, Washington convinces us that Whip can indeed hide his addictions from the world through bravado and instinct, even as we can see he’s really flying blind.

Best Supporting Actress: Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
Her son (played by Bradley Cooper) is a basket case; her retired husband (played by Robert De Niro) is trying to make ends meet as a bookie. Still, as Delores, Weaver smiles bravely, perhaps just a bit insanely. For us, her endless hope is infectious.

Best Supporting Actor 50+: John Goodman, Flight
As an ever-chipper, always supportive drug dealer, he plays the architect of the hero’s downfall. So why is he still so darned lovable? Only Goodman could pull it off.

Best Director 50+: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

Lots of great directors have taken sentimental stabs at depicting Lincoln. Only Spielberg could deliver both a warm personal portrait and a fierce look at a wily politician gaming the system in the name of a moral imperative.

Best Screenwriter 50+: Ben Lewin, The Sessions
The ick factor could have been deadly: A middle-aged polio victim seeks a sex surrogate for lessons in lovemaking. But Lewin, himself a polio survivor, draws unexpected sympathy—and admiration—from both student (John Hawkes) and teacher (Helen Hunt).

Best Grownup Love Story: Helen Mirren and Anthony Hopkins, Hitchcock

He’s the public face of their combined genius; she’s the devoted wife who overlooks his peccadilloes. Sure, they bicker. But above all, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Hitchcock settle into each other with a wonderfully reassuring comfy feeling.

Best Comedy: Bernie
Jack Black is a small-town funeral director who moves in with the domineering local matriarch (Shirley MacLaine), then kills her accidentally on purpose and hides her in a freezer. What’s so funny about that? The stars are wildly appealing, and writer-director Linklater springs one gleeful surprise after another.

Best Intergenerational Movie: Silver Linings Playbook
The world already conspires to keep generations from understanding each other; throwing mental illness onto the pile just doesn’t seem fair. Yet in this warmhearted story of a family in crisis, parents and their grown children bravely grasp for each other, defying the odds.

Best Documentary: Searching for Sugar Man
You may not remember ’70s Detroit rocker Rodriguez, but two of his biggest fans in South Africa sure did. The pair’s search for their hero, and the discovery that changed their lives, is an inspiration for anyone who’s asked, “Whatever happened to…?”

Breakthrough Accomplishment: Dustin Hoffman, Director, Quartet
It’s hard to believe that this consummate movie actor had never before directed a film before 2012’s Quartet. His sensitive portrait of the residents of a home for retired classical musicians makes us wonder what took him so long.

Best Foreign Film: Amour (Austria)

As stark as it is artful, writer-director Michael Haneke’s story of an octogenarian couple’s final months together takes no sentimental detours—yet it triggers an emotional torrent.

Best Buddy Picture: Robot & Frank

Sure, one of the buddies is a little white helper robot. But to an ailing loner (Frank Langella), he embodies all the elements of a good friend: patience, companionship, and a nonjudgmental ear. Also, Robot helps Frank get the girl.

Best Time Capsule: Argo (1970s)
From the circa-1970s Warner Brothers logo to the shaggy haircuts to the Star Wars–rip-off “fake movie” at its center, this story of how Hollywood and the CIA teamed up to rescue six Americans in Iran gets every little Carter-era thing just right.

Best Movie for Grownups Who Refuse to Grow Up: Moonrise Kingdom

With director Wes Anderson’s trademark quirkiness in full bloom, this story of a preteen romance—and the grownups who don’t understand—snuggles its way into the hearts of anybody who remembers the terrific, terrifying first time they fell in love.

For more information on AARP’s Movies for Grownups Awards, check out the February/March issue of AARP The Magazine, in homes now, or visit

To schedule an interview with an editor regarding AARP The Magazine’s Movies for Grownups® Awards, please contact Michelle Alvarez, 202.434.2555 or or Brenae Leary, 646.633.4971 or

About AARP The Magazine

With more than 31 million readers, AARP The Magazine is the world's largest circulation magazine and the definitive lifestyle publication for Americans 50+. AARP The Magazine delivers comprehensive content through health and fitness features, financial guidance, consumer interest information and tips, celebrity interviews, and book and movie reviews. AARP The Magazine was founded in 1958 and is published bimonthly in print and continually online. Learn more at

About AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for Americans 50+ and the world's largest-circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for the 50+ audience;; AARP VIVA, a bilingual lifestyle multimedia platform addressing the interests and needs of Hispanic Americans; and national television and radio programming. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at

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