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Kathy Griffin was a guest at our last gala; now she'll return as host!

Kathy Griffin was a guest at the last gala; this year she returns as host

Susan Sarandon, Alfonso Cuaron, Bruce Dern, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and Mary Steenburgen are just a few of the actors and directors who will be celebrated at AARP’s Movies for Grownups Awards Monday in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Presented by AARP The Magazine, the Movies for Grownups Awards, hosted this year by comedian Kathy Griffin, honor films with special appeal to the 50-plus audience. “2013 was a blockbuster year for films showcasing 50-plus talent,” says Myrna Blyth, editorial director of AARP Media. “It’s clear that Hollywood has gotten the message that this audience is one that should not be ignored.”

This year’s gala awards dinner also will raise awareness for the AARP Foundation’s work to relieve hunger among older Americans — which includes a partnership with L.A. Kitchen.

Walking the red carpet at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel will be a who’s who of Hollywood, including Dern and his Nebraska costars Will Forte and June Squibb; Lupita Nyong’O, the beautiful star of 12 Years a Slave and her director Steve McQueen; Steve Coogan, who stars with Judi Dench in  Philomena; and Gravity director Cuaron.

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Sarandon — featured on the cover of the February/March issue of AARP The Magazine — will receive the Movies for Grownups Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her more than 45-year commitment to quality films. From her Oscar-winning role in Dead Man Walking to susan-sarandon-768her memorable performances in countless thoughtful movies such as the recent The Company You Keep, Sarandon has consistently chosen projects that challenge the grownup audience. Presenting the award will be Melissa McCarthy, who directs and costars with Sarandon in Tammy, a comedy opening later this year.

McCarthy, who starred in last summer’s The Heat and was Oscar nominated for Bridesmaids, is among a stellar list of presenters, including Morgan Freeman, Catherine Keener, Winona Ryder,  Naomi Watts and Diane Lane.

The MFG Awards include categories unique to their mission of encouraging filmmaking that speaks in a unique way to movie lovers 50 and older. The Best Grownup Love Story  award, for example, goes this year to Nicole Holofcener, who wrote and directed the sweet romantic comedy Enough Said, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini. And the award for Breakthrough Accomplishment will go to Oscar-winner Mary Steenburgen, whose new passion — singing — is showcased in the comedy Last Vegas, where she sang a song she wrote herself.

Follow the Movies for Grownups Awards on Twitter @Movies4Grownups and visit our Facebook page.  Look for full photo coverage of the red carpet and gala highlights Tuesday at aarp.org/movies.

Home Page and Channel Photo Credit for Kathy Griffin: Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty Images

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