Hollywood’s (Re)Coming of Age: New Films Focus on Life Beyond Midlife

This post is courtesy our friends at Encore.org. You can like them on Facebook to learn more about their work helping people pursue their passions in Encore Careers in the second half of life.

All of a sudden, there are movies about life beyond midlife.

“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” — starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy — has quickly become a critical and box office hit.

And don’t forget Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts in “Larry Crowne,” Isabella Rossellini and William Hurt in “Late Bloomers,” and, next year, Tina Fey in “The Intern,” playing the founder of a fashion company who mentors a 70-something intern bored with retirement.

What gives? Could it be that Hollywood has finally realized there are people out there over 50 living life to the fullest, who want to see themselves reflected on the big screen?

Marc Freedman, author of “The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife,” explores the dynamics at play in “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” in a Harvard Business Review post. †He writes:

Who knows, maybe the aging of society won’t be so bad after all. Especially if we are as innovative about engaging the assets of this population as we have been historically at finding ways to write them off. Here too, Marigold’s Sonny has some wisdom to impart. In one of the film’s more memorable scenes, he tells Penelope Wilton’s disgruntled character — complaining the real hotel is nothing like the Photoshopped palace in the marketing brochure — to have faith in the future. “Of course I had hoped that by now it would be the present,” he tells her. “But in India, we have a saying: Everything will be alright in the end. So if it is not alright, then it is not yet the end.”

Despite their wish for an old-style, leisure-filled retirement in India, Freedman writes, the characters in the movie “find new life instead of old age.”

That’s †something the people at Encore.org and all of us looking forward to full lives of passionate involvement can get behind.

Do you have a passion you want the chance to pursue? In light of the recent rush of films exploring life and passion after 50, Encore.org has joined forces with Participant Media and Road Scholar to sponsor the Marigold Ideas For Good Contest.

You can enter if you are over 50 and have a great idea for doing something to improve the quality of life in your community. †Each month, from now through October, Participant Media — with help from the voting public and Encore.org — will select five winners. Each will win a $5,000 grant to get their encore started; one will win the money, plus the trip of a lifetime from Road Scholar.

So if you’ve got an idea about how you can make the world a better place for future generations, you can enter today.

Check out the first round of winners here, and learn more about this and other great opportunities from Encore.org by clicking “like”

Related Stories:

Does Your Career Do Something More?

A New Plan for Medicare?

Aging Artists: Engaged, Productive and Far from Retirement



Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra5 years ago

Thank you Ellen, for Sharing this!

SCOPO Center
SCOPO Center6 years ago

Supreme Cosmic Power, Scopo, Center responds: that is encouraging!

LMj Sunshine
James merritt jr6 years ago

Interesting article.

LMj Sunshine
James merritt jr6 years ago

Interesting article.

Danuta Watola
Danuta W6 years ago

Thanks for a great article,

june t.
reft h6 years ago

Its about time we had a variety of ages in our movies. We don't reach 40 and then disappear.

Lucie G.
Lucie G6 years ago

Its nice to know that more films like Marigold hotel are going to be released. I loved that film.

Elizabeth J.
Elizabeth J6 years ago

Thanks for the information.

Terry Vanderbush
Terry V6 years ago

Thank you

Natalie Kulk
Natalie Kulk6 years ago

thanks-thats good 2 know