BEVERLY HILLS—The AARP Launched their first ever Movies for Grownups’ Film Festival running from November 14-17, in the Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14 in its Premiere House. A majority of the films shown at the screenings are being seen before their nationwide release date. Those movies include “Labor Day,” “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and “August: Osage County,” all set to arrive in theaters on Christmas Day, while “Nebraska” arrives in theaters on November 22 and “Saving Mr. Banks” on December 20. Each viewing ends with a Q&A session with some of the actors, directors, writers and producers of the films.
The AARP Movies for Grownups first began as an annual feature story in their magazine; picking storylines that related to film enthusiasts who were 50 and over back in 2002. Each year, a red-carpet gala was held to give the stars of these films awards for their contributions. The next film gala will be held on February 10, 2014 in Beverly Hills, CA.
The film screening began Thursday, November 14 at 7:00 p.m. with the film “Philomena.” It is based on the investigative book, “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee” written by Martin Sixsmith, a BBC correspondent. The book is based on a true story which follows the life of Philomena Lee, played by Judi Dench, who gave up her child conceived out of wedlock to appease her Irish-Catholic community. After years of leading a normal life in England; Philomena decides to try to find her long-lost son; who was put up for adoption in the United States. After the film Steven Coogan, who not only wrote and produced the film, but plays Martin Sixsmith was accompanied by Philomena Lee herself at the Q&A session.
On Friday, November 15 at 7:00 p.m. the film “Nebraska” was screened. It tells the story of a father, played by Bruce Dern, who believes he’s become rich due to a sweepstakes letter he received in the mail. The film tells the story of the Nebraskan family life, as viewers watch a father and son (Will Forte) ride their claim to their winnings. The Q&A session included actors Bruce Dern, Stacey Keach, June Squibb and director Alexander Payne.
On Saturday, the film “12 Years A Slave” starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael K. Williams and Michael Fassbender was screened at 11:00 a.m. The Q&A session included director Steve McQueen and actors Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o and Alfre Woodard. At 2:30 p.m. the film, “Enough Said,” was shown, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener and Toni Collette. The Q&A session included attendance by Julia Louis-Dreyfus and director/writer Nicole Holofcener. At 5:00 p.m., “Labor Day” starring Clark Gregg, Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin was screened. The Q&A session included director Jason Reitman and writer Joyce Maynard. Saturday’s final film, “20 Feet from Stardom,” starring Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, and Lisa Fischer was shown at 8:00 p.m. At the end of this film, there were live performances by Merry Clayton and Maxine, Oren and Julia Waters. The first 100 ticket holders received a free DVD of the film’s soundtrack.
The final day of films for the festival starts with “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” starring Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig and Adam Scott. After the film, director, producer and actor Ben Stiller will be available for a Q&A session with the audience. At 3:00 p.m., “August: Osage County,” starring Meryl Streep, Dermot Mulroney and Julia Roberts will be shown. The Q&A will have actors Margo Martindale and Chris Cooper. Closing the festival will be the picture “Saving Mr. Banks,” starring Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, and Ruth Wilson. Actor Brad Whitford and director John Lee Hancock will be attending the Q&A session after the movie.