Thursday, December 10, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks #335: Movies for Seniors/The Elderly

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of Thursday Movie Picks, the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. The week, the theme is Movies for Seniors/The Elderly, which isn't necessarily difficult, with me just having to look up whether or not I'd used the movies I had in mind recently. After some checking, I came up with three movies, all of which won one of the stars an Oscar:

Harry and Tonto (1974). Art Carney plays Harry, a widower who's going to have to leave his New York apartment because the building is being torn down. He finds living with his New York son intolerable, and eventually gets invited out to California by another son living there. The only thing is, Harry has a cat Tonto who can't stand to be apart from him. So no going in the hold, and the two go on a cross-country trip where Harry meets a bunch of interesting characters and shows us the elderly still have a lot to offer. Carney won the Oscar for his fine performance.

The Sunshine Boys (1975). Walter Matthau plays an aging comic whose agent/nephew (Richard Benjamin) gets him a great job offer, with a catch: there's a planned TV special on the history of comedy, and the producer wants to reunite the vaudeville team of which Matthau was one half, the other half being George Burns. Unfortunately, the pair had an acrimonious break-up à la Martin and Lewis, and when the two get back together, we see why they broke up in the first place. George Burns deadpans all his lines on his way to winning an Oscar, and unintentionally enraging Matthat at every step along the way.

The Trip to Bountiful (1985). Geraldine Page plays an elderly woman living in a cramped apartment in 1940s Houston with her son (John Heard) who is hen-pecked by his wife (Carlin Glynn), the wife feeling her mother-in-law is a burden. Page dreams of seeing an old friend in the town of Bountiful, somewhere further southwest of Houston. Her son and daughter-in-law can't afford it and don't have the time, so one day Page takes her Social Security check and runs off to the bus station to try to get to Bountiful, meeting a young army wife (Rebecca De Mornay) along the way. Page won the Best Actress Oscar.

Now to see what everybody else picked.


joel65913 said...

Nice picks with good performances though I only agree with one of the Oscar wins of the three.

The Sunshine Boys is a bit of an ambling mess but George Burns is very appealing. He always was but I think his award was more of a career acknowledgement than for this particular performance.

Harry and Tonto-Same goes for Art Carney and this film. Art's performance is much more nuanced but better than Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino or Jack Nicholson giving three of the best performances of their careers?! I don't think so.

But Gerry Page in The Trip to Bountiful was madly deserving. Considering she had been bypassed seven times previously and she didn't live much longer after this I'm so glad that she was awarded and that the work was completely deserving. The picture is slow at times but she anchors it throughout.

I went with three that are on the more comedic side of things.

Cocoon (1985)-A group of seniors in a Florida rest home stumble upon a swimming pool that because of an alien "cocoon" hidden within has become a fountain of youth. After taking a dip they are rejuvenated and have a great deal of fun during their second fling at being young. Don Ameche won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role.

Out to Sea (1997)-Charlie and Herb (Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon) are retired long time friends. Schemer Charlie manages to convince Herb to take a cruise as a chance to meet women but what he doesn't tell him is that they are to be dance instructors on board! Complications ensue!

Louisa (1950)-Hal Norton (Ronald Reagan) suggests to his sweet but somewhat meddlesome mother Louisa (Spring Byington) that she should find some other interests outside their home when she gets too involved in the lives of his wife and kids. Louisa takes his advice and starts dating the local grocer Henry Hammond (Edmund Gwenn-Miracle on 34th Street's Kris Kringle). All is well and good until Hal's boss Abel Burnside (Charles Coburn) takes a fancy to her too and suddenly the Norton's placid life takes a crazy turn with Louisa in the middle of a late life love triangle! Sweet film with delightful performances by the three leads.

Dell said...

I still need to see all three of these.

Cinematic Delights said...

I haven't seen any of these and I'll admit that none of the actors and actresses names were familiar except Rebecca De Mornay. Thanks for choosing them!