The British Film Institute’s latest report highlights that those aged 55 and above make up 12.5% of all cinema goers in the UK. This proves that watching films continues to be an enjoyable pastime for people of all ages and remaining emotionally engaged is a key part of ageing healthily. In addition, film offers fantastic escapism, even for those who can no longer visit the cinema, instead watching in their assisted living or care home accommodation. However, when considering the box office hits over the last few years, it’s evident that the majority of films are targeting a younger audience, often making it a difficult task for older people to find a film which is relatable. Here we share some of our top picks for older viewers.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)
The British comedy-drama The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which is based on Deborah Moggach’s novel These Foolish Things (2004), follows a group of seven retirees who travel to Jaipur, India to take up residence in a retirement hotel. The narrative depicts each retiree’s sometimes tentative and often comedic adjustment to their new surroundings, whilst also battling their personal struggles from their previous lives. Their journeys are heart-warming and truly believable, portrayed by some of our national treasures; favourites such as Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and Judi Dench. This colourful and exuberant comedy reminds the viewer that life really can start with retirement!
The Bucket List (2007)
The Bucket List is a heart-warming story of an unlikely friendship between two older men from two completely different worlds. After sharing a hospital room and being diagnosed with terminal illnesses, they decide to take a road trip to fulfil a bucket list. This film, starring the popular Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, reminds us that there is always time to do the things we’ve always wanted to and it’s never too late for a new friendship to blossom!
Going in Style (1979)
Going in Style falls into the caper/heist film genre (a subgenre of crime fiction which can be humorous), and it definitely doesn’t disappoint in this regard! This film relates to the financial limits many older people can face. However, the main characters (three elderly friends) choose an unorthodox approach to improve their situations – by carrying out a bank heist! The premise of the narrative is obviously extremely entertaining and Hollywood is set to release a remake of this film later this year.
The Lady in the Van (2015)
The Lady in the Van, written by Alan Bennett, depicts the true story of Mary Shepherd, a homeless woman (played by Maggie Smith), whom he befriended in the 1970s. Bennett allowed Mary to park her Bedford van on his drive in Camden, London to help her out as a temporary measure. However, she stays for fifteen years! Perhaps the least traditionally inspirationalof this list, The Lady in the Van promotes resilience and gratitude for our own personal deals in life.