My 5 Favorite MEA-Themed Films of 2022.

December 29, 2022

My 5 Favorite MEA-Themed Films of 2022.

May 29, 2023

Hollywood seems to be getting hip to the fact that older people matter. Here are my favorite films with themes associated with midlife (and later) transitions and discovery. Any would be perfect for an MEA slumber party. I’ve ranked them from 1-5 in terms of my favorites.

  1. Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. I was so mesmerized by this movie that I wrote a blog post, “The Film Industry Gets a Clue,” right after watching it. You will love Emma Thompson, and you will lust for Dylan McCormick! Intergenerational collaboration in the bedroom, but—more than anything—Thompson is an exquisite role model for becoming a beginner in one’s 60s. And the final scene, expressing the liberty of “my body doesn’t define me,” is epic.
  2. Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song. If you’ve been in one of my cohorts, you know we often play this song that resonates with richness and abundance, no matter who sings it. The song is part biblical, part carnal. The movie revolves around the inspiring anatomy and lineage of a deeply meaningful song, along with the men (including Jeff Buckley) who popularized it. Cohen says age 70, when he truly caught on in the mainstream, is the “foothills of old age and the urgent invitation to complete one’s work.” And I love that k.d. lang’s version (my favorite) ends the film.

  3. A Love Song. This movie opens with singular wildflowers in the parched, windy high desert. This scene serves as a metaphor for the main character, Faye, a self-sufficient woman who is depleted by time and longing for her beau from childhood (Faye is played by Dale Dickey, who’s the most lovely, weathered actress I’ve ever seen). Faye lives in a campground near where she grew up, hoping her lost love will show up. This slow, haunting, subtle film has a depth of feeling that reminds you that age can be more beautiful than youth.
  4. Aftersun. Part of our MEA journey is exploring what Brené Brown calls the atlas of our heart, and this father-daughter coming-of-age tale will have you exploring all kinds of emotions. It’s made by a first-time, 35-year-old Scottish director, Charlotte Wells, who examines our childhood memories and how they can serve as prisons or open fields for us as adults. The acting and dialogue are brilliant and soulful. Perfect for those who want to better understand their origin story, especially with a parent.
  5. Halftime. I’m not a huge J.Lo fan, but I found this documentary revealing of the grit and determination of Jennifer Lopez, especially in her run-up to both being halfway through her life and prepping for doing a Super Bowl halftime show.

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