Reprint: A Good Year for Elder Actors

[This post originally appeared at Time Goes By, written by Ronni Bennett. Thanks to Ronni for allowing me to reprint it here.]

Not infrequently, I grumble out loud around here about how few roles, especially major roles, there are in film for elder actors. Our generation doesn’t get much representation on what in our youth was called the silver screen.

But not so in 2015. As the year-end round-ups of the arts are being published, it is gratifying to see how many of our contemporaries have been not only getting work but in some cases being nominated for awards.

This is a list of some of the biggest names and the movies they have starred in this year. It is in no way meant to be comprehensive, and I arbitrarily chose 65 to be the low-end age cutoff. Maybe you have seen some of these. (A few random trailers included) Continue reading “Reprint: A Good Year for Elder Actors”

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The Old Ain’t Dead Top 10 of 2015

Old Ain’t Dead just me, watching whatever looks good. To me. I don’t watch everything. I don’t have a “best of 2015” list because I don’t have a clue as to what most of 2015 had to offer, much less what the best of all that would be.

Yet here we are, at the end of the year, and a top 10 list is in order. So how about an Old Ain’t Dead top 10 for 2015? I present my favorites in no particular order.

I admit to being a little fast and loose with the 2015 part. Some of these things were made before 2015, but I saw them in 2015. Just go with it.

I cheated just a bit, too, because at the end I threw in a few extra mentions of things too good to ignore.

Continue reading “The Old Ain’t Dead Top 10 of 2015”

Is the Badass Female Only the Female with a Gun?

I love the badass characters. I enjoy the badass female leads in Quantico and Blindspot, to name a couple of examples from this fall’s TV season.

But I wish the badass qualities I love didn’t have to involve guns and violence. Is the standard audition practice these days to ask a woman to draw a weapon from a holster on her belt as quickly as she can?

I know we live in a violent world. I know we need FBI agents and other sentinels like them to protect us all.

But is gun-wielding female the only badass female character?

I want someone to write more badass characters like Erin Brockovich or Texas Senator Wendy Davis. (Oh, hey, someone is doing that! Yes!) I want more lifesavers like Dr. Leanne Rorish on Code Black or adventurers like Phryne Fisher from Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries or tractor-driving farmers like Gillian from Last Tango in Halifax or system-fighting women like Laurel Hester from Freeheld.

We define badass as something like Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road when we should be thinking that badass is Lily Tomlin in Grandma. I think we glorify the violent. We create drama around guns, killing, revenge, retribution. Then we uplift those characters to represent the best in the culture.

In reality, violence is the worst part of our culture. There is plenty of drama to be had in ordinary existence. Just living provides ample struggle. We can redefine badass to be something that represents the good in us, can we not? We are using pop culture to redefine the attitude toward LGBT individuals, toward all kinds of inclusion. Why not redefine the attitude toward badass?

I plan to start mentioning it on social media and here on the blog when I find a character that I can define as badass who is also uplifting and nonviolent in her greatness.

I hope you’ll join me in mentioning such characters when you find examples.

Review: Grandma

Grandma stars Lily Tomlin as Elle. The entire story takes place in one day. It starts when Elle breaks up with her girlfriend Olivia (Judy Greer). Then Elle’s granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner) unexpectedly shows up needing $600 before sundown.

Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: Grandma”

45 Years and Still Having Sex

45 Years is a British drama about a couple preparing for a 45th anniversary of their wedding. Here’s the synopsis. Continue reading “45 Years and Still Having Sex”

Watch This: Trailer for Grandma

Grandma stars Lily Tomlin, which is all anyone needs to know before laying their money down at a theater box office. The film release date is August 21.

Tomlin plays Elle Reid, who just lost her longtime partner, Val. Her 18 year old granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner) appears one day asking for help. The two embark on a money gathering journey together which is mind expanding for both of them. Continue reading “Watch This: Trailer for Grandma”

Review: Grace and Frankie Season 1

Grace and Frankie hit Netflix last weekend and I watched every episode. It was a bit uneven, but I loved it anyway.

Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen in Frankie and Grace

Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: Grace and Frankie Season 1”

Grace and Frankie Coming in May – UPDATED

Grace and Frankie will release on Netflix on May 8. The new series stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston. With such a great cast, I feel free to expect great things. Continue reading “Grace and Frankie Coming in May – UPDATED”

This Looks Promising: Grace and Frankie

Old pals Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are set to costar in a Netflix original comedy/drama, Grace and Frankie. The 13 episode series will release in 2015.

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in 9 to 5.
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in 9 to 5.

The two women, Grace (Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin), hate each other. It was just announced this week that Grace’s husband is going to be played by Martin Sheen. I haven’t seen an announcement as to who will play Frankie’s husband.

The plot develops when the two husbands announce that they are in love and want to run off together and get married, forcing interactions between the wives.

That’s pretty much all we know at this point. The complete cast isn’t even set yet, but filming is due to begin in August. Now that they have Martin Sheen, it should be easier to get the other husband character to sign on. Working with Martin Sheen should be an incentive.

A show with two over 40 women leading the cast? Sign me up, Netflix.