Movie buffs can enjoy an exciting variety of films at this year's AARP's Movies for Grownups Film Festival, being held during the Life@50+ National Event in New Orleans Sept. 20-22. Six feature films — two of them exclusive sneak-peek prereleases, and two others not yet widely available in theaters — are included in the festival. In addition, stars Billy Crystal and Paul Williams will appear to introduce their movies and take questions from the audience.
Family drama, comedy, financial thriller, even a nostalgic documentary — all are part of the lineup, along with a Hollywood-style red carpet, the chance to be photographed with Billy Crystal, and an English high tea experience.
The festival will kick off at noon on Friday, Sept. 21, with a screening of The Descendants, AARP The Magazine's 2012 "Best Movie for Grownups." The film, starring George Clooney and directed by Alexander Payne (Sideways, About Schmidt), tells the story of Matt (Clooney), a workaholic attorney who is forced to be the parent he never was to his two adolescent daughters when his wife is rendered brain-dead after a boating accident.
Next, attendees are invited to attend a British-style high tea, complete with scones and biscuits, in Rooms 283-285 of the New Orleans Convention Center before the 2:30 p.m. screening of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in the convention center auditorium (where all the films will be shown). Starring Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson and Maggie Smith, Marigold Hotel recounts the charming and heart-tugging adventures of a group of retirees from England who relocate to a resort in India to live out their golden years.
Friday evening, beginning at 4:30, the festival will replicate a Hollywood film premiere with Billy Crystal, director Andy Fickman (The Game Plan, You Again), and child actors Bailee Madison, Joshua Rush and Kyle Harrison Breitkopf from Parental Guidance walking a red carpet outside the auditorium. Fifty lucky Life@50+ attendees will win the chance to be photographed on the carpet with Crystal. (To enter the contest, register on Thursday at the Genworth booth on the convention center floor.)
Crystal and Fickman will introduce this special prerelease screening of Parental Guidance, out in theaters on Christmas, at 5:30 p.m. and take audience questions. The comedy, which also stars Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei, explores differences in parenting styles among generations when Alice (Tomei), daughter of Artie (Crystal) and Diane (Midler), goes on a business trip with her husband, leaving her three children in the care of her parents.