Digital Editor Ashley Kirk argues that the political biopic is one of the best genres out there - so long as you avoid the pitfallsWritten by Ashley Kirk on 20th February 2014
Five of the Best: Films that make OAPs cool
Luke Jones claims his free bus pass to take a daytrip through the very best of the golden oldies
Luke Jones claims his free bus pass to take a daytrip through the very best of the golden oldies.
Gran Torino is Eastwood's definitive 'old man' performance. A lonely veteran of the Korean war, his views are challenged by a grudging relationship with his Asian next-door neighbours and the gang violence that comes crashing into his life. In parts laugh-out-loud funny, in some tragic, if this proves to be Eastwood's final appearance on film it will serve as a fitting denouement.
Star Wars IV
Star Wars either stands as the high-point of space-based fantasy or a film involving a bunch of people with silly names and ostentatious swords. Yet, there is no denying that its characters have become icons, none more so than confusingly monikered star wizard Obi-Wan Kenobi. Want proof? Try typing his name into Microsoft Word. Even spell-checker recognises him.
A career-maker if ever there was one, Morgan Freeman's turn as wrongly convicted Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding may have spawned dozens of imitations but it still stands as the definitive wise old man performance. Fun fact: the film was meant to end with Red looking at the noose after his release from prison, but was changed to a meet up with buddy Andy Dufresne for a more uplifting conclusion.
The sole film with a female lead in the list is by no means the least important. Helen Mirren's Oscar-winning performance as our Head of State is a reminder that, whether you're pro-monarchy or a staunch republican, there are few people that could do the job as well as our Liz. Rumours of a comedy sequel featuring King Charles are both terrifying and completely made up by me.
Everyone knows that the first ten minutes of Pixar's 2009 tearjerker are pretty much perfect, with the lives of adventurer-in-the-making Carl Fredrickson and wife Ellie presented in all its ups and downs via montage. Proving that audiences, and children especially, will sit through an adventure film with a man who should be claiming his bus pass as the lead, Up's message of leaving the past behind and making the most of the time you have left is important for young and old alike.