Glenn Close said she felt like she was standing on the shoulders of many women — including her mother and two grandmothers. Shirley MacLaine urged AARP to help her continue to understand her “modern maturity,” and director Peter Farrelly said, “Fifty, 95 or 100, we’re all together, we’re one group.”
Those were just a few of the sentiments expressed by winners of AARP’s Movies for Grownups Awards on Monday in Beverly Hills, Calif.
As AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins (above) put it: “We see enormous enthusiasm from the actors and directors about being here. They feel they are doing their best work in their 50-plus years. It’s so exciting.”
As was the show.
Host Martin Short (above) encouraged a relaxed and informal atmosphere with a string of opening jokes and relentless razzing of the cream of Hollywood, many of them favorites for Oscars this month. And audience members responded with such warmth that even when flubs by Short and, later, presenter Kathy Bates forced retakes, they just applauded louder.
Winners Viggo Mortensen, Spike Lee and Glenn Close got standing ovations as they took the stage. Career Achievement winner Shirley MacLaine got two.
Some awardees said they are proof that persistence pays. “I’ve been around 40 years,” said Can You Ever Forgive Me? supporting actor Richard E. Grant (above), a veteran of more than 125 films and shows, “so it’s an out-of-body experience to have all of this attention at this stage of my life. I really thought I’d be like Old Dobbin, put out in the field with a couple of cows.”
“AARP is such a vital audience to the theatrical experience,” said Judi Dench, who won best supporting actress for playing Shakespeare’s wife in All Is True, speaking via satellite from London.
Mahershala Ali (above left) presented his Green Book costar Viggo Mortensen the best actor award, noting that Mortensen’s startling weight gain for the role is nothing compared to “the work we can’t see — he lifted Tony Vallelonga off the page and onto the big screen.”