I’m taking a class on Gerontology and – to my pleasant surprise – one of the assignments is to write an essay on a film which focuses on a depiction of aging. Of course, there are many to choose from but I am racking my brain, and fruitlessly searching google, for the film I want to write on.
It is set (I think) in Australia, and is about a group of mostly older women who are on a trip somewhere together, when their bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere. They end up stranded in a nearby empty farmhouse. The film is primarily about how they cope together with the heat, the disappointment, the beginnings of fear for their situation, hunger starting to set in, and their inter-relationships…. It’s really a portrayal of good and bad behavior in trying circumstances, and the resilience and wisdom of some of the older ladies.
I saw it years ago on some station like IFC or Sundance, and it has always stayed with me, but I’ve never been able to recall the name of the film. Very frustrating. So, I figured this was the place to come, now that I more actively want to pursue it for my class.
Anybody have a clue?
And, as a more interesting topic for this thread – films about aging in general – anybody have favorites?
strangers in good company
The film you are thinking of must be “Company of Strangers” AKA “Strangers in Good Company” from 2000, directed by Cynthia Scott.
I remembered it because I have it on my Netflix instant list, but I haven’t seen it yet.
Here’s the Wiki on it:
For the many contrasts between age and youth, I recommend “Starting Out in the Evening.”
An older, forgotten author befriends a young student who wants to write her thesis on him, forcing him to take stock of his life. Immensely moving, with a great performance by Frank Langella as the author.
“Wild Strawberries” remains one of the classic film statements on aging.
Good luck with your work. If any more titles come to me, I’ll post them.
Thanks you, Bradi and Claus, that is exactly it. I just read the synopsis at Netflix, and I think it will be a great choice.
Our instructor tossed out a few titles as examples. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane was one of hers, and one I thought of early on as well. And there’s Sunset Blvd ,Harold and Maude….
Doing a Google search on ‘films and aging’ brings up a surprising number of press and blog articles and lists, with some interesting looking foreign films as well
Well, there’s Tokyo Story. That’s pretty good.
ack, the dreaded double post.
Well, some more films about aging/elderly then:
Where’s Poppa, which I once saw as a double bill with Harold & Maude.
Claus is correct – it is a Canadian film (1990), set in Canada. I saw it when it came out at one of our local rep. theatres. Yes, it is about a group of older ladies stranded when their bus breaks down and they are stuck together and must then deal with the situation. I remember a scene when two of the older ladies are talking and one says to the other one that she is a lesbian. The other said to her something like “Well, that must be nice for you, dear,” which got quite a laugh and applause in the theatre.
Other recommendations: I Never Sang for My Father with Gene Hackman as the son and Melvyn Douglas as his father; Trip to Bountiful with Geraldine Page. Page is excellent as an older woman determined to get back to the place of her birth.
Thank you all for identifying and commenting on Strangers in Good Company for me. I watched it from my Netflix instant queue last night (god, I love Netflix!) and it is just as lovely and poignant – and funny! – as I thought I remembered. It will definitely be my selection for this class essay.