Alan Rickman’s Soaring Final Role

Saving the Best for Last In the new thriller Eye in the Sky, the late Alan Rickman plays a British military officer with the grim task of approving a drone strike that may kill innocent people. It was the final performance of his life, and it ranks among his best. In a superb cast that includes Oscar winner Helen Mirren and Oscar nominee Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips), Rickman’s contribution was crucial, says director Gavin Hood (Ender’s Game). “Alan had this ability …

In ‘Nine to Ninety,’ an 89-Year-Old Starlet Is Born

If your eyes don’t well up by the final frames of Nine to Ninety, you should have your heart examined — to make sure you have one, that is. The 26-minute documentary, airing on PBS stations throughout January (check local listings here), beautifully captures the turmoil in three generations of a bi-coastal family as they juggle the caregiving needs of 89-year-old Philomena “Phyllis” Sabatini and her husband, 90-year-old Joseph. How would you put $10,000 to work? Sharpen your job skills …

This Weekend: Ruffalo and the Stones

It won’t put a dent in the long-awaited return of Seth MacFarlane’s famously foul-mouthed teddy bear, but Infinitely Polar Bear — the quirky, warm-hearted story of a family coping with mental illness — is this week’s best grownup bet in theaters. At home, the Rolling Stones party like it’s 1971.   Signifies a Movies for Grownups Critic’s Pick    Infinitely Polar Bear Mark Ruffalo is irresistible as a Boston father struggling with bipolar disorder while raising two spirited daughters. Writer-director Maya Forbes based the …

‘Caring for Mom and Dad’: A Movie With Answers

As 75 million boomers march steadily toward old age, a health care problem of monumental proportions awaits. That’s the staggering issue attacked in Caring for Mom and Dad, a new PBS documentary featured at AARP’s Movies for Grownups Film Festival in Miami this week. Sponsored by AARP and Pfizer, the film — now available for viewing online — introduces us to  people who are trying to balance their own lives and careers with caring for aging parents. While the stories are both sobering and inspiring, …

‘Caring for Mom and Dad’ — a Documentary Hits Home

Watching the new PBS documentary Caring for Mom and Dad was like looking in a mirror. The gut-wrenching heartaches, stress, fatigue, fears — but most of all, the love — these families experience reflect my own caregiving journey. The film (check local listings or watch online at pbs.org/caringformomanddad) is narrated by actress Meryl Streep and highlights several adult children’s experiences as they work and care for parents who are dealing with strokes, dementia and other health challenges as they age. It …

‘Downton Abbey Rediscovered’ Teases Season 5

Downton Abbey fans who’ve been dying for disclosures about Lady Mary and her suitors, thirsting for tidings of Mr. Bates’ implication in the death of Mr. Green, or craving bon mots from the dowager countess, get ready for a big tease. PBS’s Downton Abbey Rediscovered airs Sunday, November 30 — amidst its post-Thanksgiving pledge drive — offering tantalizing morsels from the banquet of drama coming in Season 5 as well as Bernadette Peters wryly introducing favorite moments from the past four seasons. …