Our picks for films, streaming series and TV shows that star actors or (or real people in documentaries) over 70 (sometimes over 60) years old AND the theme includes aging. Sometimes about Alzheimers / dementia / Parkinson’s Disease at any age.
Aging Gracefully Indie Films
Beyond 60 Project Documentary directed by Melissa Davey. Available for purchase on Amazon and Vimeo. Free on Tubi with ads.
My Mom and the Girl (2018): 20 minute Short film about Alzheimers starring Valerie Harper (her last appearance). Written, directed and produced by Susie Singer Carter. Available for purchase on Amazon, Apple iTunes and Google Play.
Apple Plus Aging Gracefully Series
STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie (May 12 2023): Directed by Davis Guggenheim. Cleverly integrates scenes from Fox’s films, TV appearances and home movies along with Michael speaking to tell this story of living with Parkinson’s Disease.
Shrinking (2023 – ): Fabulous black comedy starring Harrison Ford (born 1942) along with Jason Segal (How I Met Your Mother) and Jessica Williams (Daily Show)
*Extrapolations (2023): Starring Meryl Streep (1949) and Judd Hirsch (1935). Projection of where the world is headed because of climate change told in story format.
Hulu Aging Gracefully Films and Series
* Good Luck Leo Grande (2022): Hulu Original 90 minute film, directed by Sophie Hyde, starring Emma Thompson (born 1959) and and Daryl McCormack, set in England. Older woman never satisfied by her husband hires young escort two years after her husband’s death.
* The Old Man (2022): Originally on FX. Thriller series starring Jeff Bridges (born Dec 1949), John Lithgow (born Oct 1949).
* Only Murders in the Building (2021 – ) Series starring Steve Martin (born 1945), Martin Short (born 1950), Selena Gomez (born 1992), Nathan Lane. Season 2 starting June 2022, Shirley MacLaine (born April 1934) and Amy Schumer join. Noteworthy intergenerational friendships including between Selena and Steve.
* Nomadland (2020) Oscar winning film starring Frances McDormand, directed by Chloé Zhao
NBC News article hat tip Andrew Patino, Executive Director SaltBox TV “How the Frances McDormand drama ‘Nomadland’ defies Hollywood ageism”
* The Leisure Seeker (2017): Starring Helen Mirren (1945) and Donald Sutherland (1935) with Dick Gregory (1932 – 2017). Directed by Paolo Virzi (1964). The Leisure Seeker is a 1950’s RV that Ella and John, married couple is driving from Massachusetts to Key West to see Ernest Hemmingway’s Home because John reveres Hemmingway. John has dementia and they escaped their adult children to take this trip. Ella to John when he has a moment of clarity “I’m so happy when you come back to me” “It’s so nice when you forget to be forgetful. Too bad it ends so quickly. I just can’t get used to it.”
* The Feud (2017) Very highly rated and well cast docudrama series starring Jessica Lange (born 1946) as Joan Crawford and Susan Sarandon (born 1946) as Bette Davis. Kathy Bates (1948) as Joan Blondell. John Waters (1946) makes an appearance as William Castle. Many others in the cast in their 60’s.
Second Chance (2016) Sci-fi cop series. Selected for this genre because of Philip Baker Hall (Sept 10, 1931 – June 12, 2022) being brought back as young and strong. Originally on Fox. One season.
* It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005 – ) Clever comedy series starring Danny Devito (born 1944), Kaitlin Olson (Hacks). Latest episodes on ABC.
HBO Max Originals and Series Aging Gracefully
* Defending My Life Documentary directed by Rob Reiner (born 1947). Albert Brooks (born 1947). Lots of fun clips. Interviews with Larry David (born 1947), Sharon Stone (born 1958), David Letterman (born 1947), Steven Spielberg (born 1946).
* Banshees of Inisherin Nominated for Best Picture 2023 Oscars. Starring Brendan Gleeson (born 1955) nominated for best supporting actor, Colin Farrell, nominated for actor. Go with the flow to appreciate it. Note this is not an HBO original, it is just running on HBO early 2023.
*Belfast (2021) Docudrama created by Kenneth Branagh reflective of his life, starring Judi Dench (1934). Won Oscar for best original screenplay in 2022.
* The White Lotus – Sicily (2022) Created by Mike White. Beautiful photography of Sicily. Starring F. Murray Abraham (aging gracefully born 1939), along with Jennifer Coolidge (born 1961), Aubrey Plaza, Michael Imperioli (Good Fellas), Theo James (Time Travelers’s Wife) + all around great cast.
*The Automat (2021): Documentary. Narrated by Mel Brooks (1926). With Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933 – 2020), Collin Powell (1937 – 2021), Carl Reiner (1922 – 2020). Highly rated.
* Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000 – ): Comedy series created by and starring Larry David (born 1947).
* Jane Fonda in Five Acts (Sept 2018): with Robert Redford and lots of historical footage
* If Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast (2017): documentary, Carl Reiner
* The Alzheimer’s Project: (2009) documentary series:
You’ll need to add each of the five segments separately to your watch list. Just search within HBO-GO, ALZ will get you there. “This series takes a close look at scientific discoveries, as well as the effects of the debilitating and fatal disease on those directly affected and their families. Titles in the series include: “The Memory Loss Tapes,” “Grandpa, do you know who I am?” “Momentum in Science.
Amazon Prime Video Streaming Films Aging Gracefully
* The Tender Bar (2022): Dramedy directed by George Clooney, starring Ben Affleck. Christopher Lloyd (1938) is granpa. Protagonist is the writer of the memoir. Amazon Original film.
* The Last Movie Star (2018): Burt Reynolds (born 1936) stars as an aging screen icon. Enjoyed their use of film clips and photos from his prime. We are fortunate Burt Reynolds made this movie before passing at 82 on September 6, 2018.
* Still Mine (2012): Drama starring James Cromwell (born 1940), Geneviève Bujold (born 1942)
* Lovely, Still (2008): Romance starring Martin Landau (passed at 89, July 2017), Ellen Burstyn (born 1932), Elizabeth Banks, Adam Scott.
* Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks (2014): Starring Gena Rowlands (born 1930)
* Ladies in Lavander (2004): starring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith
* DopeSick (October 13, 2021): Docudrama starring Michael Keaton (1951), Kaitlyn Dever (Unbelievable), Michael Stuhlbarg, Rosario Dawson, Peter Saarsgard. Based on the real story of Purdue Pharma, OxyContin and the opioid crisis.
*This is Where I Leave You (2014) Dramedy starring Jane Fonda (1937)
Netflix Streaming Films Aging Gracefully
*Nyad (Nov 3 2023): Docudrama starring Annette Benning (Diana Nyad) and Jodie Foster (Bonnie Stoll). “You are never too old” “Never give up”
*Sr (2022): Documentary created by Robert Downey Jr. with contributions from Robert Downey Sr. (1936 – 2021) about Sr’s life, filmography. Includes some insight into Parkinson’s Disease.
* Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Dec 23 2022) starring Daniel Craig (born 1968), Kate Hudson, Edward Norton, Janelle Monae, Kathryn Hahn, Jackie Hoffman (born 1960). Appearance Angela Lansbury (1925 – 2022). Themes – tech, morality
* The Lost Daughter (2021) Directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal; starring Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Ed Harris (born 1950), Peter Sarsgaard. Themes – motherhood, intergenerational, aging
* Our Souls at Night (2017): Robert Redford (born 1936), Jane Fonda (born 1937). Netflix Original. Romance.
* Silver Skies (2016): comedy. George Hamilton (born 1939), Marriette Hartley
* 5 Flights Up (2014): drama with humorous moments. Small film. Coming of age for a couple who puts an apartment they have lived in for 40 years with a beautiful view in Brooklyn on the market. Diane Keaton (born 1946), Morgan Freeman (1937), Cynthia Nixon
* St Vincent (2014): coming of age, feel good. Bill Murray (born 1950), Melissa McCarthy
* The Homesman (2014): About women in the west in the 1850’s, questionable if it is “feminist” as claimed, rather dark but both the novel and the film have won awards. Directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones (born 1946) with Hillary Swank, and briefly John Lithgow (born 1945), Meryl Streep (born 1949), James Spader, Tim Blake Nelson.
* Peace, Love & Misunderstanding (2011): Starring Jane Fonda (born 1937), Catherine Keener
Netflix Series Aging Gracefully
The Crown (2016-2023; part 2 starts Dec 2023): Starring Jonathan Pryce (1947) as Prince Phillip; Timothy Dalton (1946) as Peter Townsend – Margaret’s lover and an excellent cast.
* Dead to Me (2019): Starring and produced by Christine Applegate (Married with Children), James Marsden (WestWorld), Ed Asner, Linda Cardellini. Black humor. Female point of view. Ed Asner, a healthy resident in the Assisted Living facility Cardellini works at, contributes Aging Gracefully.
* Kominsky Method (2018 – 2021) launched November 16 Netflix Original created by Chuck Lorre. Starring Michael Douglas, Alan Arkin, Nancy Travis. Aging Gracefully. Situation comedy – very well done.