Hollywood Goes Gray With Films About Aging

Two of 2012’s best movies tackle the topic of getting older with honesty, humor and compassion.

Two Must-See Films About Aging:

Dustin Hoffman makes his directorial debut–as a septuagenarian no less–with “Quartet,” a funny and poignant tale of aging musicians living in a retirement home for retired opera singers. “What is it like to be so full of talent that no one is interested in, and to have amazing stories that nobody really wants to hear?” asks San Francisco Chronicle critic Mick LaSalle.

The joys and pains of aging are woven throughout the film as the residents prepare for the annual concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday. Dementia is more a source of amusement than tragedy in this tale that critics are calling “one of the best movies you’ll ever see about old age.” Now playing at the Embarcadero Landmark Theaters in San Francisco, Albany Twin Theater in Albany, Piedmont Theatre in Piedmont, Rafael Film Center in San Rafael and CineArts in Pleasant Hill.

Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the humor spectrum is “Amour,” a French film that San Francisco Chronicle film critic called “cinematic boot camp. It is bleak and hopeless… but unforgettable and one of a kind. ”

“Amour” centers on octogenarians Georges and Anne, retired music teachers with one daughter who lives abroad with her family. Anne suffers a stroke and is left paralyzed on one side of her body, forcing her husband into the caregiver role. Whereas “Quartet” deals with dementia and finds the humor in those early signs of aging, “Amour” is ruthless and unforgiving in its portrayal of a person’s falling apart.

It may be depressing, but it’s Oscar-nominated for best picture, best actress, best director and best foreign language film. We think it’s one worth seeing, so head over to the Clay Theater in San Francisco, the Albany Twin Theater in Albany, the Rafael Film Center in San Rafael or the CineArts in Pleasant Hill.

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