AARP's Movies for Grownups Awards, seen on the PBS show Great Performances Sunday (March 28), was like having a Zoom party with a selection of Hollywood stars in their moment of triumph. The red carpet remained in storage, but Jodie Foster, Sophia Loren (with son Edoardo Ponti), Anthony Hopkins, George Clooney, Catherine O'Hara, Mark Ruffalo, Demián Bichir, Andra Day and Lee Daniels were among the many distinguished, fun and funny guests whom host Hoda Kotb, coanchor of NBC's Today, welcomed to the annual party — albeit a virtual one this year.
Clooney, 59, who accepted the Career Achievement Award for work from his hit TV series ER to his newest movie, The Midnight Sky, quipped, “We were working on the ‘Sexiest Man Still Alive!’ bit, which made us laugh a lot.” Best TV actress winner Catherine O'Hara, who created the quirky ex-soap opera star Moira Rose of the streaming series Schitt's Creek, thanked AARP for including television in the awards show for the first time. And, accepting the best television movie award, Marielle Heller of The Queen's Gambit called out AARP “for celebrating complex, high-quality and thought-provoking work made for grownups, by grownups.”
Milo Ventimiglia, a star of the best TV series This Is Us, shared that the cast is often told their work makes viewers cry, “but the real stories you share through us make us cry."
Daniels, who directed Day in best picture winner The United States vs. Billie Holiday, joked that AARP's honor “forced me to look at my age .” Day teased: “You look good though, that's the key!”
Icon Anthony Hopkins, 83, honored as best actor for his drama The Father, offered one of the most poignant thoughts of the evening when he shared that making the movie about a man with dementia was “the highlight of my life. It was an important film for me to do because dementia, Alzheimer's is a serious problem in families."
Watch the hour-long show on pbs.org/moviesforgrownups and the PBS Video app.
Read a list of all the winners, nominees and profiles of the stars at AARP Movies for Grownups Awards.
Stay on top of movies and television for grownups weekly at aarp.org/entertainment.
Tim Appelo is AARP’s film and TV critic. Previously, he was Amazon's entertainment editor, Entertainment Weekly’s video critic, and a writer for The Hollywood Reporter, People, MTV, LA Weekly and The Village Voice.