Sharon Stone

The Descendants is the year’s Best Movie for Grownups, according to AARP The Magazine’s 11th annual Movies for Grownups® Awards. This year, Oscar nominee Sharon Stone will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions to film. The 11th annual awards, will be presented by Sycamore Entertainment Group, an independent film marketing and distribution company led by an Oscar-nominated team with over 50 years of experience, on February 6, 2012, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The complete list of winners can be found online at and in the February/March issue of AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world’s largest-circulation magazine with more than 35.7 million readers, in homes starting January 24, 2012.

In addition to honoring outstanding acting, directing and writing of filmmakers 50 and over, the Movies for Grownups Awards are known for their decidedly offbeat categories, including “Best Grownup Love Story” (Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent for Iron Lady), “Best Time Capsule” (J. Edgar) and “Best Movie for Grownups Who Refuse to Grow Up” (The Muppets).

“AARP The Magazine is proud to celebrate movies that engage grownup audiences with challenging topics, thoughtful new approaches, and sterling work by actors, actresses, directors, and writers, all at the top of their games,” said Nancy Perry Graham, Vice President and Editor of AARP The Magazine. “In addition to these wonderful films, we’re thrilled to present this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Sharon Stone, a film icon who has mesmerized audiences for decades with stellar performances in countless films including Basic Instinct, Casino, and The Quick and the Dead.”

Additional top honors went to Glenn Close, “Best Actress” for her charming depiction of a woman living as a man in Albert Nobbs; Oliver Litondo, “Best Actor” for his inspiring character in The First Grader; Christopher Plummer, “Best Supporting Actor” for his poignant depiction of Hal in Beginners; Vanessa Redgrave, “Best Supporting Actress” for her stunning portrayal of Volumnia in Coriolanus; and Stephen Daldry, “Best Director” for his solidly crafted film, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

“For 11 years AARP the Magazine has been pointing our readers to the kinds of movies that matter most to them—and reminding Hollywood that older moviegoers will show up in droves at the box office for quality films,” said Bill Newcott, host of AARP’s weekly Movies for Grownups radio show. “This year was an especially good year for grownup movies thanks to outstanding work not only from Hollywood legends, but from extraordinary newcomers, as well.”

Before voting on this year’s winners, the editors of AARP The Magazine spent more than 100 hours screening 2011’s eligible Hollywood studio and independent films. Additionally, readers were invited to participate and vote for their pick for “Best Movie for Grownups” online. After thousands of online votes, the 2011 Reader’s Choice Award went to the box office hit The Help.

The 11th Annual Movies for Grownups
Award winners are as follow:

Best Movie for Grownups: The Descendants

Is there any brand of 50+ angst this funny, tragic film does not dissect? There’s love and loss, disappointment in others (and others’ disappointment in us), personal betrayal, and the urge to reveal lifelong secrets—or keep them to ourselves, even when they’re clawing to get out. George Clooney gives the performance of his career as Matt, whom we find sitting mournfully at the bedside of his comatose wife—unaware his life is about to be shattered by a shocking revelation. Through it all, Matt is driven by one motivation: to do the right thing sans whining.


· The Artist

· Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

· Midnight in Paris

· War Horse

· Win Win

Best Actress: Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs

Everybody has two stories, says Close, explaining why she persevered for 30 years to film this story of a Victorian era Irishwoman who spent her life posing as a male waiter. “There’s the story that people perceive outwardly,” she says, “and there’s our story, looking from the inside out.” The miracle of Close’s performance is how she ushers us behind Albert’s guarded expression so that we, too, experience her perpetual terror of being exposed…and share her secret passions.


· Ellen Barkin, Another Happy Day

· Helen Mirren, The Debt

· Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

· Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Best Actor: Oliver Litondo, The First Grader

Here’s the news from Kenya: Oliver Litondo, a longtime Kenyan TV newscaster who sometimes dabbles in acting, breaks your heart and sends it soaring in the true story of Kimani Maruge, an 84-year-old man who enrolled in a remote Kenyan elementary school so he could learn to read. From his tentative first moments at his small desk to his haunted eyes as he recalls his family’s murder, Litondo’s Maruge is a man who won’t give up on life, even when it has seemingly given up on him.


· George Clooney, The Descendants

· Mel Gibson, The Beaver

· Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

· Kevin Spacey, Margin Call.

Best Supporting Actress: Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus

What, your high school English class didn’t cover this obscure Shakespearean swords-and-shields epic? Watch Redgrave’s breathtaking turn as the titular general’s mother, trying to persuade her son not to sack Rome—pleading, bullying, shaming—and you’ll forget all about that guy Macbeth.


· Ellen Burstyn, Another Happy Day

· Judi Dench, J. Edgar

· Allison Janney, The Help

· Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs.

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

A cancer-stricken father (Plummer) reveals to his son (Ewan McGregor) that he is gay. The story is told from the young man’s perspective. But it’s Plummer as the father—twinkly-eyed with delight at his newfound liberation—who gives Beginners its energy. We want to spend all evening with him, and we understand the profound sense of emptiness that engulfs the son’s heart when Dad is gone.


· Jeremy Irons, Margin Call

· Ben Kingsley, Hugo

· Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

· Christoph Waltz, Water for Elephants

Best Director: Stephen Daldry, Extremely Close and Incredibly Loud

A troubled young boy ventures into the world of grownups to make sense of his father’s death on 9/11—and learns that grownups are as clueless as he is. Daldry tells his story from two perspectives: that of a desperately confused, tender-aged innocent and that of life-weary adults who manage to see past their own sorrows to offer a child their gift of clear-eyed kindness and hard-won wisdom.


· Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

· George Clooney, The Ides of March

· Cameron Crowe, We Bought a Zoo

· Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

· Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Best Writer: Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

We’ve long suspected that Woody Allen would be happiest rubbing shoulders with Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein in 1920s Paris. Sure enough, here he dispatches Owen Wilson as his proxy, and the result is Allen’s funniest and most imaginative film in nearly a decade.


· Alexander Payne, The Descendants

· Eric Roth, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

· Roger Simon, A Better Life

· Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, Moneyball

Best Comedy For Grownups: The Artist

Set in the era when silent pictures gave way to sound, The Artist is positively Chaplinesque: It serves up slapstick, sentiment, and a happy ending snatched from the jaws of tragedy. We dare you to name another comedy that so patiently builds its entire narrative toward a single last-second joke.


· 50/50

· Bridesmaids

· Midnight in Paris

· Tower Heist

Best Grownup Love Story: Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent, Iron Lady

They toddle about the quiet house after dark, playfully jabbing each other’s hot buttons, recalling fond memories, fretting about the future. As Margaret Thatcher and her husband, Denis, Streep and Broadbent embody our hopes for old love: comfortable, affectionate, and undying—even beyond death.


· Emily Watson and Peter Mullan, War Horse

· Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson, The Beaver

· Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer, J. Edgar

Best Documentary: Bill Cunningham New York

This portrait of a genius, living alone in a cluttered Manhattan apartment and photographing street fashions for The New York Times from his bicycle, is a tribute not only to a man but to individualists of every age.


· Hot Coffee

· The Interrupters

· Project Nim

· Undefeated

Breakthrough Achievement: Martin Scorsese, Hugo

He gunned us down in Goodfellas and led us through corridors of madness in Shutter Island. But nothing prepared us for the marvels of Hugo, the director’s magical fantasy about an orphan who lives in the walls of a 1930s era Paris train station. Seldom has a child’s-eye view of life’s wonders and worries been so lushly, lovingly rendered. Scorsese’s first-time use of 3-D technology transforms the screen into the most spectacular pop-up book you’ve ever seen.

Best Intergenerational Movie: Win Win

As if the impending failure of his law practice isn’t enough, attorney Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti) also coaches a wretched high school wrestling team. Enter a new kid (Alex Shaffer), escaping an awful home life, who just happens to be an awesomely talented wrestler. The story of their budding relationship, where each finds the ingredients for success in the other, makes Win Win a winner for all ages.


· The First Grader

· Hugo

· The Music Never Stopped

Best Movie for Grownups Who Refuse to Grow Up: The Muppets

Does Kermit the Frog have an AARP card? (He’s 56, after all.) He makes a handsome leading “man,” and this charming comedy, jam-packed with more Muppets than you can shake a pig at, effects a jubilant juncture of those who grew up with the gang and a new audience just discovering them.


· Dolphin Tale

· Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

· Hugo

Best Time Capsule: J. Edgar

When we first meet J. Edgar Hoover, Bolshevik terrorists are bombing U.S. cities. By film’s end, Richard Nixon is beginning his presidency. In between, Clint Eastwood and company starkly portray not only how the world changes in the span of a lifetime but how a single life can define those changes.

Meryl Streep


· The Help

· Iron Lady

· Midnight in Paris

Best Foreign Film: Names of Love (France)

“Okay, we’re half-breeds,” the Arab-French woman tells her French–Greek-Jewish lover. “We should go forth and multiply. The day there’s nothing but half-breeds, there’ll be peace.” Writer director Michel Leclerc’s tale of unlikely love between a 50-something conservative man and a young liberal woman does not merely address the bridging of generational and cultural divides; it also envisions the likely future face of Europe— and, possibly, the world.


· 80 Days

· In Darkness

· Queen to Play

· The Skin I Live In

Best Musical Achievement: Alexandre Desplat, Tree of Life

It was a sonically sensational year for Desplat, who also scored A Better Life, Carnage, and Extremely Loud and

Incredibly Close. For Terrence Malick’s big-budget art film, which explores nothing less than the meaning of life and

the origin of the universe, Desplat’s haunting orchestral score—accompanying images of young love, family

tragedies, and interstellar explosions—soars, rumbles, sings and grumbles.


· John Williams, War Horse

Visit to read the full lineup of the 11th Annual Movies for Grownups Award winners.

Photos By: Sara De Boer/Retna