Movie fans were drowning in choice at AARP's Life@50+ event in Boston last week.
The twice-yearly get-together of AARP members and partners, held at Boston's convention center on May 9 and 10, featured a Movies for Grownups film festival that invited attendees to watch four feature films before their wider release to the public. (Admission to the screenings was included in the Life@50+ registration fee.)
The lineup included two romantic comedies:
1) And So It Goes, from director Rob Reiner, starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton;
2) Words and Pictures, directed by award-winning director Fred Schepisi and featuring Juliette Binoche and Clive Owen.
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Schepisi (A Cry in the Dark; The Eye of the Storm) took part in an audience Q&A after Words and Pictures, sharing details about the casting and the location where the film was shot (Vancouver), as well as the fact that some of Binoche's own paintings appear in the film.
To promote And So It Goes, Reiner and Douglas recorded an introduction to their film; tailored to AARP members, the short clip underscored the value of Movies for Grownups.
Also screened during the festival was Disney's heartwarming Million Dollar Arm, starring "Mad Man" Jon Hamm. It recounts the real-life story of sports agent J.B. Bernstein, who concocts a scheme to revive his career by launching a contest in India to identify a cricket player who can be turned into a Major League Baseball pitcher.
Rounding out the film festival's offerings was A Night in Old Mexico, a sort of Nebraska-meets- Thelma & Louise western starring Robert Duvall. The ever-gracious Duvall recorded a personal welcoming introduction and autographed two movie posters for an audience raffle.
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The Life@50+ film festival also gave AARP a chance to roll out its new Movies for Grownups seal of approval. Movies that speak directly to the grownup audience are awarded the seal; they then receive prerelease member screenings for AARP members only in cities across the country. Both And So It Goes and Words and Pictures have received the 2014 Movies for Grownups seal.
Photo credits: Disney Enterprises (Jon Hamm); Clay Enos, Clarius Entertainment (Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton)
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