“Movies for Grownups” Gala

Movies for Grownups Gala
Humble Jeff Bridges, ultra-funny Robert De Niro, quiet Billy Crystal, and friendly Sean Penn, at AARP “Grownups” Awards Event

It looked like the green room backstage at the Oscars, with all the star power and experience that gathered for AARP the Magazine’s 9th Annual “Movies for Grownups Awards.”

Many of the Oscar-winning films and nominees were honored, including Crazy Heart, The Blind Side, Invictus, and an award for “Best Movie for Grownups Who Refuse to Grow Up” went to Star Trek. The Oscars only honored Star Trek with trophy for Best Makeup.

The gala took place weeks before the Academy Awards, but it sure predicted the big win for Jeff Bridges. Maggie Gyllenhaal was there to give Bridges his “Movies for Grownups” acting award, and told everyone a story about hanging out and drinking with Jeff Bridges and their Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper. As always, Bridges was humble in accepting the honor, always thanking his family. He also noted “we all have a Bad Blake inside of us” when asked if he was anything like his wild character.

Image 

The cozy ballroom at the Regent Beverly Wilshire was buzzing when Robert De Niro arrived. He was joking around about being honored with the organization’s Life Achievement Award. He said, “What are they going to give me 40 years from now the ‘He Lived Too Long Award’?” He plugged the DVD release of his latest film Everybody’s Fine. “It’s okay, I know you didn’t see it,” he said when a smattering of applause was heard.

A bunch of his past costars were on hand to show their support and love for De Niro. Chatting at the cocktail reception, Billy Crystal quietly talked about “Bobby‘s great sense of humor,” and Juliette Lewis about his “generosity as a actor.” Friendly with everyone (even press and photographers) Sean Penn really enjoyed presented the award to his friend, and spoke lovingly about “Bobby’s eyes.”

Image 

Who else was on hand at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel? Morgan Freeman was there, along with producer Lori McCreary and Frances Fisher, to support Invictus, directed by the very grownup Clint Eastwood. Invictus was named the Best Movie for Grownups, and Julie & Julia won the Best Grownup Love Story. An inspiring story from Jordan, Captain Abu Raed won the Best Foreign Film.

Past Oscar-winner Shirley Jones was there with hubby wild comic Marty Ingels, handsome Robert Forster (a former Oscar-nominee for Jackie Brown), great character actor Seymour Cassel, lovely Stefanie Powers, Morgan Fairchild, Estella Warren, Jennifer Taylor, Jordan Nagai, Elisabeth Rohm and Jeremy Piven. Announcing the awards were Susan Blakely and Michael Nouri.

Bill Newcott, entertainment editor of the AARP magazine says, “In 2009, 50-plus actors and filmmakers took center-stage on the silver screen, turning in performances and films that were riveting and nothing short of daring. Tackling war, apartheid, sexuality and adding real depth to romantic comedies, the 50-plus Hollywood community shows once again that they are an integral, much-needed element of the film industry.”

De Niro told the star-studded AARP crowd, “I’ve always made movies for grownups. Even the comedies and the dramas weren’t made for young audiences, but for people with taste and intelligence. People like you… well most of you. Um, some of you.”


Frank Barron is the former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, having served twice in that capacity. In between, he was West Coast news director for Billboard Publications, supervising their five magazines. Barron also created the western TV series “The Man From Blackhawk” for the ABC network. For more than three decades he and writer-wife Margie Barron have covered Hollywood for Production Update magazine, and they currently contribute to numerous publications. Frank started in showbiz as publicity director for the KHJ radio and television station. Before moving to California, he was a sports editor in New Jersey.

Advertisement