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Announcing AARP’s 2023 Movies for Grownups Awards Nominees

‘The Fabelmans,’ ‘The Woman King,’ ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ lead the nominations — don’t miss the show on PBS!

(Clockwise from top left) Tom Cruise in "Top Gun: Maverick"; Emma Thompson in "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande"; Sheryl Lee Ralph in "Abbott Elementary"; Michelle Yeoh in "Everything Everywhere All At Once"; Viola Davis in "The Woman King."
(Clockwise from top left) Tom Cruise in "Top Gun: Maverick"; Emma Thompson in "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande"; Sheryl Lee Ralph in "Abbott Elementary"; Michelle Yeoh in "Everything Everywhere All At Once"; Viola Davis in "The Woman King."
Scott Garfield/Paramount Pictures; Searchlight Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection; Gilles Mingasson/ABC; TriStar Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection; Allyson Riggs/A24

AARP’s annual Movies for Grownups Awards are back, live from California’s historic Beverly Wilshire Hotel — and you’re invited! Alan Cumming hosts the star-studded special, which will be taped on Jan. 28 and broadcast by Great Performances on PBS on Friday, Feb. 17, at 9 p.m. ET (check local listings), on pbs.org/moviesforgrownups and the PBS Video app. Brian Tyree Henry will present the Movies for Grownups Career Achievement Award to Jamie Lee Curtis, whose work is bigger and better than ever at age 64.

The many people who scrutinize the Movies for Grownups Awards for clues to who might also get Oscar nominations — historically, not a bad bet — will notice the most-nominated films: The Fabelmans (6 noms), Everything Everywhere All at Once and The Woman King (5 each), and Tár and She Said (4 each).

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But every honored title is significant. We spotlight films and shows that feature crucial issues, thoughtful story lines and the most talented grownup filmmakers and actors who speak directly to the 50-plus audience, the crucial demographic supporting the best work in film and TV. Without grownup audiences, art house films, indies and TV that qualifies as art would not survive — and when audiences flocked back to theaters this year, it was grownups who led the charge. Thanks to AARP and its viewers, there’s more to Hollywood than young stars in superhero spandex.

But movies for grownups are thriving, on big and small screens. Here are the ones to watch, the latest nominees for the Movies for Grownups Awards.

The complete list of the annual Movies for Grownups Awards nominees (in alphabetical order):

(Left to right) Austin Butler in "Elvis" and Judd Hirsch in "The Fabelmans."
(Left to right) Austin Butler in "Elvis" and Judd Hirsch in "The Fabelmans."
Warner Bros. Pictures; Merie Weismiller Wallace/Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Best Picture/Best Movie for Grownups

  • Elvis

It’s a musical extravaganza and a double love story, about Presley and his mistreated missus, Priscilla, but more centrally about his doomed bromance with the shadowy manager who created and arguably destroyed him.

  • Everything Everywhere All At Once

The most exuberant multiverse movie ever is also a wildly entertaining family drama about a Chinese immigrant who raids other dimensions and saves the world.

  • The Fabelmans

Steven Spielberg fictionalizes his own life story in a touching film about a teen genius obsessed and possessed by movies.

  • Tár

A film with all the volcanic passion and drama of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, which its tragically flawed heroine ambitiously conducts.

  • Top Gun: Maverick

You’re never too old to feel the need for speed, as proven by this flyboy epic that grownup viewers turned into a blockbuster.

  • The Woman King

Gladiator’s he-men are pip-squeaks compared to the all-female army defending 19th-century Dahomey against enslavers — and it’s inspired by a true story!

  • Women Talking

A powerful, loosely fact-based fable about women debating their response to male predators in their religious community, with a stellar cast at the peak of their powers.

Best Director

  • James Cameron

Nothing in film history could top his No. 1 CGI blockbuster Avatar — except possibly his even more eye-popping Avatar: The Way of Water.

  • Todd Field

In Tár, Field’s triumphant return to filmmaking after 16 years, he crafts with absolute control a portrait of a titanic conductor spiraling out of control.

  • Baz Luhrmann

Only a talent as extravagant as Luhrmann could capture the iconic singer’s soul in Elvis.

  • Gina Prince-Bythewood

Bythewood saw Braveheart 100 times, and outdid it with her own movie about heroes routing invaders. Sisterhood was never more powerful onscreen.

  • Steven Spielberg

The Fabelmans transforms Spielberg’s youth into a coming-of-age tale that’s also a deep story about grownups’ love and sorrow.

Best Actor

  • Tom Cruise

At 60, the last true movie star made the biggest smash hit of his career, Top Gun: Maverick.

  • Brendan Fraser

He gives a daring, difficult, utterly moving performance as an infinitely kind and regretful man at the end of his fraying rope in The Whale.

  • Tom Hanks

In A Man Called Otto, Hanks plays a bitter Pittsburgh widower whose grumpiness is cured by colorful neighbors and a cat named Schmagel.

  • Bill Nighy

In Living, he gets (at last!) the role of a lifetime — as a man with months to live who makes the most of every moment — and knocks it out of the park.

  • Adam Sandler

The comedian proves himself a master of drama as an NBA talent scout in Hustle.

(Left to right) Lesley Manville in "Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris" and Cate Blanchett in "Tár."
(Left to right) Lesley Manville in "Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris" and Cate Blanchett in "Tár."
Liam Daniel/Ada Films Ltd - Harris Squared Kft/Focus Features; Focus Features

Best Actress

  • Cate Blanchett

As a self-destructive egomaniac genius in Tár, she has perfect pitch.

  • Viola Davis

She was intense in The Help and How to Get Away With Murder, but more so as the aging, indomitable warrior leader in The Woman King.

  • Lesley Manville

In the summer’s feel-good hit Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, she plays a widowed British cleaning lady who fulfills her dream of owning a Dior frock.

  • Emma Thompson

She brilliantly plays a widowed teacher with a hopeless love life that gets reignited in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande.

  • Michelle Yeoh

She soared at 38 in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and still higher at 60 as a kung-fu champ who’s out of this world in Everything Everywhere All at Once.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Andre Braugher

He gives gravitas to the role of Dean Baquet, a New York Times editor who championed the reporters who brought down Harvey Weinstein, in She Said.

  • Brendan Gleeson

He’s feckin’ fantastic as the most irritable Irishman on the island in The Banshees of Inisherin.

  • Woody Harrelson

Who could play Triangle of Sadness’ alcoholic Marxist captain of a luxury ship for plutocrats with more half-mad brio than Harrelson?

  • Judd Hirsch

With a few minutes of screen time in The Fabelmans, he makes the young hero’s uncle indelible, a font of cranky wisdom about an artist’s life and what it costs his family.

  • Ke Huy Quan

A child star of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, he tried for one last role at 51 — and wound up a bigger star than ever as the schlump-turned-hunky husband in Everything Everywhere All at Once.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Angela Bassett

As Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s grieving mom and noble queen, she helped make the Marvel Cinematic Universe artistically respectable.

  • Patricia Clarkson

Amid the emotional journalistic maelstrom of She Said, Clarkson plays the most experienced woman in the room, a calm, quietly formidable, fiercely intelligent editor.

  • Jamie Lee Curtis

Everything Everywhere All at Once’s Michelle Yeoh needs a villainous foil of equal dramatic stature, and Curtis’ malevolent IRS agent provides it.

  • Judith Ivey

To play a church elder in Women Talking, she got to know real Mennonites, and her performance radiates authenticity and the authority of age.

  • Gabrielle Union

At 50, she aced the greatest role of her distinguished career as a tough single mom in The Inspection.

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Best Screenwriter

  • Todd Field

Before he could make those inspired directing choices in Tár, he had to write his first original screenplay in 27 years, a subtle meditation on power and its perils.

  • Tony Kushner & Steven Spielberg

Long collaboration on masterpieces (LincolnMunichWest Side Story) fused their minds so that they could create a young Spielberg-inspired character who transcends mere memoir in The Fabelmans.

  • Kazuo Ishiguro

It was daring of him to adapt Ikiru, Kurosawa’s immortal film about mortality, as a British story in Living. But he pulled it off.

  • Rebecca Lenkiewicz

In She Said, she dramatized not only the public story of the Weinstein case but the hearts and lives of the women he attacked, and the ones who stopped him.

  • Dana Stevens

She managed to make The Woman King Game of Thrones-sized fantasy, a history-based Shakespearean tragedy, a complex moral inquiry and a comic-book movie with characters who feel real.

Best Grownup Love Story

  • Empire of Light

A troubled woman and a man raised to look after wounded souls find romance in the magical world of an English movie house.

  • Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

An emotionally naked tale that takes midlife sexuality seriously and treats it with respect, not demeaning comedy (though it’s also got winning humor).

  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover

This may be the most winningly steamy film adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s ode to instinctive passion.

  • A Love Song

After decades of beautifully playing tough, scary characters, from Winter’s Bone to Breaking Bad, at 60 Dale Dickey gets her first romantic lead role, and first romantic onscreen kiss, from Wes Studi. It’s sweet, poignant and a bit like Nomadland.

  • Ticket to Paradise

In their sixth movie together, Julia Roberts and George Clooney convincingly portray a divorced couple whose bickering sounds like practiced harmony.

(Left to right) Tom Hanks in "A Man Called Otto"; Michael Banks Repeta and Anthony Hopkins in "Armageddon Time."
(Left to right) Tom Hanks in "A Man Called Otto"; Michael Banks Repeta and Anthony Hopkins in "Armageddon Time."
Niko Tavernise/Sony Pictures; Anne Joyce/Focus Features

Best Intergenerational Movie

  • A Man Called Otto

A widower questions his life’s value, until he connects with a younger generation.

  • Armageddon Time

Anthony Hopkins plays the wisest, dearest grandpa who ever was, enlarging another movie inspired by the director’s childhood.

  • Everything Everywhere All at Once

The inspiration for the heroine’s parallel-universe adventures is her quest to heal her fractious extended family.

  • The Fabelmans

It’s not just about teen director Sammy Fabelman but the entire Fabelman family, and the parents are as central as the ostensible protagonist.

  • Till

The story of a murdered Chicago teen, his mother, her mother, his Southern relations and their history-changing campaign for justice.

Best Time Capsule

  • Armageddon Time

A movie that recreates the painful racial and class divisions of 1980s Queens, New York.

  • Babylon

The 1920s never roared louder than in this melodrama about bad behavior in long-ago Hollywood.

  • Elvis

Another film that grownup viewers made a hit, partly because it so vividly recreates the era when Presley’s wriggly hips and curled lip rocked the world.

  • The Fabelmans

It takes you back to the ’60s and the films that formed Spielberg’s sensibilities, and ours.

  • Till

It shows you the world of 1955, and the civil rights movement that Emmett Till’s lynching helped spark.

Best Ensemble

  • Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Daniel Craig’s sleuth wouldn’t be half as fun without the large cast of colorfully flawed characters trapped on a murderous isle.

  • Nope

Jordan Peele’s UFO horror flick for smart people boasts a vast assemblage of Black acting talent.

  • She Said

A great many she’s get their say in a film about the end of a conspiracy of silence created by men.

  • The Woman King

Movies about male potentates often focus mostly on the top guy, but General Nanisca’s troops are numerous and distinctive characters.

  • Women Talking

Females often get short shrift in movies, but this one lets a great many of them speak their piece.

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Best Documentary

  • Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down

The rising U.S. representative was shot in the head, but she fought back to health, and against guns.

  • Lucy & Desi

The story of America’s favorite TV couple needs some ’splainin’, which this film does well.

  • The Pez Outlaw

No fiction film is wilder than the true David and Goliath story of an entrepreneurial Pez dispenser smuggler.

  • Sidney

A fitting tribute to the towering talent of Sidney Poitier.

  • Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off

An inspiring look at the tumultuous life of a skateboarder still shredding at 54.

Best Foreign Film

  • Argentina, 1985 (Argentina)

The true story of underdog prosecutors who took on the bloodthirsty fascists who ran Argentina.

  • Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths (Mexico)

Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s trippy answer to Fellini’s 8½, a filmmaker’s plunge into his past, and his country’s history.

  • Broker (South Korea)

Female cops hunt two men who sell abandoned infants to rich folk, and all wind up forming a sort of family together with a mom who wants her baby back and a scrappy orphan.

  • One Fine Morning (France)

Léa Seydoux stars in a film about a woman caring for her ailing dad and falling for an old friend.

  • The Quiet Girl (Ireland)

A neglected rural Irish girl finds love in the warm embrace of her distant cousin’s clan.

Best TV Movie/Limited Series

  • Black Bird

A superb true-crime saga about a convict who hopes to win his freedom by befriending a chilling serial killer and trying to get him to confess.

  • The Dropout

Amanda Seyfried excels as the icy-eyed Steve Jobs wannabe and fraudulent health care entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes.

  • Inventing Anna

Yet another true-crime epic, about the amazingly brazen con artist who convinced Manhattan’s elite that she was a German heiress they needed to give pots of money to.

  • The Staircase

A brilliant show about Michael Peterson and the mystifying stairway death of his wife.

  • The Watcher

A stellar cast (Naomi Watts, Bobby Cannavale, Jennifer Coolidge, Margo Martindale, Mia Farrow) makes a scary, fact-inspired story of a couple victimized by an unknown stalker a must-watch.

Best Actress (TV)

  • Christina Applegate

The Married … With Children teen grew up to be a fine dramatic actress on Dead to Me, a comedy that’s just as funny, and also a profound study of grief and friendship.

  • Toni Collette

She made the heroine of The Staircase a victim we really cared about.

  • Laura Linney

As a smooth, upper-crust criminal, she made Ozark a moral fable for our time.

  • Sheryl Lee Ralph

She’s costarred with De Niro and Denzel, but at 65, she’s a star in her own right, as a kind, tough teacher on Abbott Elementary.

  • Rhea Seehorn

At 50, she broke out as the hero’s tragically corrupted accomplice on Better Call Saul.

Best Actor (TV)

  • Jeff Bridges

Cancer and COVID did not prevent him from making a conspicuously auspicious TV debut as a rogue CIA agent in The Old Man.

  • Steve Carell

Transcending his comedy past, he brilliantly plays a therapist kidnapped by a murderous client in The Patient.

  • Bob Odenkirk

People wondered whether the spin-off Better Call Saul could equal Breaking Bad. Odenkirk made it even greater.

  • Gary Oldman

He has more fun than Peter Falk’s Columbo playing the disheveled spy boss of a bunch of British MI5 losers in Slow Horses.

  • Wes Studi

On Reservation Dogs, the wonderful hit about Oklahoma Native American youth, the Cherokee acting legend plays the avuncular, eccentric artist Bucky.

Best TV Series

  • Abbott Elementary

The network sitcom lives, thanks to this funny, wise, intergenerational show about idealistic (or disillusioned) schoolteachers devoted to a grueling profession with more turnovers than a bakery.

  • The Old Man

An action thriller about aging and looking back on life, starring two top grownup actors, Jeff Bridges and John Lithgow, as secret-agency partners turned adversaries.

  • Only Murders in the Building

Ever-squabbling pals Steve Martin and Martin Short star in a first-rate, very funny satirical murder mystery.

  • The White Lotus

With jeweled precision, it satirizes the sexual yearnings of beautiful rich people vacationing in a Sicilian luxury hotel, as a murder plot provides a sinister obbligato.

  • Yellowstone

Kevin Costner never rode taller in the saddle than he does in TV’s unexpected No. 1 hit, a cowboy saga that does for Montana what Dallas did for Dallas, only with a smarter, more nuanced take on our times.

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