(for best viewing click the title and go to the web page)
Those older readers who missed two recent British films Quartet and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: run out to…I was going to say your local Blockbuster, but that’s another thing which has disappeared. So, go to Netflix or your library to catch up on these two extraordinary films.
Both address the problems associated with aging: loss, frustration, regret, forgiveness, love, depression, meaning and senility. The list itself is depressing but not the films. Both are packed with terrific British actors including Maggie Smith and Judi Dench. They are entertaining, funny and thoughtful.
Quartet is about residents of a retirement home for former musicians practicing for a gala to raise funds for the house and anticipating the arrival of a mysterious new resident, Maggie Smith, a former opera singer who reluctantly moves into the community and refuses to take part in a revival of a famous quartet to sing an aria from Rigoletto at the gala. It turns out that one of several of her ex-husbands is also in the quartet! Some of the acts in the gala are performed by famous musicians playing themselves and provide a great sound track.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel involves a group of desperate British retirees lured to a derelict retirement hotel in India which is in reality only a dream of a young entrepreneur whose response to every problem is “Everything will be all right in the end so if it is not yet all right, then it is not the end.”
The retirees include Judi Dench who is recently widowed, a frustrated married couple and assorted single persons, all whose retirement is being “outsourced” to India including Maggie Smith’s hip replacement. The film tells how each of the retirees handles the extraordinary complexity of life in India midst navigating the personal relationships in the group.
Without a doubt, seeing these films will cause older viewers to reflect on their own lives and how they are handling that depressing list with hope and humor: loss, frustration, regret forgiveness, love, meaning and senility.
Rating: this film is for mature audiences over 65.
Here are links to movie trailers for both films: