About Schmidt is a bittersweet portrait of a Midwesterner whose disappointments in life have made him into an angry man. A trip out West in his camper and a pen-pal relationship with a six-year-old African orphan help turn him around as he discovers the really important things in life.

All Together is a French language dramady about five friends who decide to live together in one house when a member of their group reaches a point when he can no longer live alone. It is fascinating to watch these 70 year olds handle the problems which arise when they spend every day with each other rather than just getting together for dinners.

Amour, an Academy-Award winning film, is a poignant and provocative drama about unconditional love, old age, illness, caregiving, and dying. It is also about the elegant dance of a long-lived and fulfilling marriage.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel shows how a group of elders from England adapt to life abroad in an inexpensive hotel in India. This top-drawer character-driven comedy covers some important dimensions of the last stage of life: the impulse to do life review, health crises, financial short-falls, disappointments, the looming prospect of death, changes in marital relationships, the continuing desire for companionship, and spiritual openness. Best of all is the message that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Dough is a dramedy about an oddball friendship that surprises an Orthodox Jewish baker and his employee, a young African Muslim.

Elsa & Fred is a delightful comedy about how an enthusiastic elder draws her depressed 80-year-old neighbor back into the land of the living.

The Farewell Party is an Israeli dramedy that tackles the complicated subject of uthanasia.

The First Grader is the inspiring true story of an 85-year-old Kenyan farmer who wants to go to school to learn how to read. Many parents do not want their children fraternizing with this old man, but his dream is championed by the school principal. This drama will have you cheering for the shared idealism of the old man and the young teacher who bond across the generations to do the right thing.

5 Flights Up is a demonstration by a long-married couple of what it means to truly be in sync with each other.

Grandma is a character-driven comedy about a transition point in an elder's life where she is forced to look at all her relationships.

I'll See You in My Dreams is an emotionally rich drama that conveys the sunshine and shadows of the elder years.

The Intern is an enjoyable feature film for the baby boom generation, a dramedy about work and a cross-generational friendship.

Land Ho! is a wonderful and quirky film about two quite different seventy-somethings and their adventures during a trip to Iceland.

Men With Guns illustrates a common task in old age — to secure one's legacy. A wealthy physician in an unnamed Latin American country who is nearing retirement decides to visit the medical students he trained to serve poor villagers in the countryside. His quest opens and softens his heart.

Mr. Holmes shows the inimatable elderly detective on one last case that convinces him to cherish the mysteries of his existence.

Mr. Turner offers an extraordinary portrait of the last stages in the life and career of Joseph Mallord William Turner, the painter of light.

My Afternoons with Margueritte is a cross-generational French film that celebrates the wisdom of the heart and the mind in tandem. Germain is a jack-of-all trades who befriends Margueritte, a 95-year-old woman who shares his interest in pigeons. She brings him into the wonderful world of books with a gift of one. Their friendship deepens as they are both lifted by the camaraderie of experiencing literary masterworks together.

Nebraska is about a son who joins his irritable dad on the road and in the process opens himself to truly honoring the old man's quest for dignity and to leave a legacy. Here aging is not a matter of chronological years but of moving through "soul time," a process of cross-generational learning.

Nobody's Fool shows that the last stage of life can be one of personal renewal. A crusty and cantankerous handyman in a small town discovers that it is never too late to stir the ashes and light up your life with the glow that comes from the love of family and friends.

Northern Borders is a character driven story that celebrates the eccentricities of a boy's grandparents who live in an isolated place.

Philomena is a spiritual drama about the dynamics of faith, forgiveness, hope, and love. It arouses a rich blend of emotions in its thematic treatment of the power of forgiveness, faith in God, the responses of two very different individuals to the Catholic church's exploitation of women and its judgmental view of sexuality outside marriage, and the place of humor in the grand scheme of life.

Poetry is a lyrical South Korean drama about a grandmother who is challenged to create a poem out of the unique blend of beauty and darkness in her life as she tries to deal with one problem after another. We empathize with her courage and grace under pressure. Her poem is a marvel that reflects what she knows and feels in her heart.

The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West offers an up-close and personal portrait of a Tai Chi master at work with his students.

Quartet is an old-fashioned drama set in an English retirement home for musicians. Dustin Hoffman directs this meditation on aging as four opera singers deal with the fears, complications, and disappointments of the past. They try to resolve their differences so they can perform together in the annual celebration of Verdi's birthday.

The Salt of Life is an Italian film about a 60-year-old retiree who does errands while his wife is working. The rest of his time is spent visiting and taking care of his wealthy and domineering mother. The screenplay reveals his response to the onset of old age as he struggles with disappointment, stiff legs, lines on his face, and fears that he will always be nothing more than a mama's boy and a wine connoisseur who drinks too much.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a delightful visit with old friends and a chance to see how they are faring.

A Song for Martin charts the changes in the marriage of a world-class composer and his wife after he is diagnosed with Altzheimer's. Although it is sad to watch Martin succumb to the ravages of this disease, the adventure of their love is held high in our hearts right down to the last moments of the drama.

Still Mine is a splendid drama about the challenges and rewards of conscious aging in the context of a long marriage. This touching drama offers us proof that individuals can find within themselves the strength, optimism, and determination to triumph over whatever life throws their way.

The Straight Story revolves around a stubborn and highly principled 73-year-old Iowan who sets out on his John Deere lawnmower to visit his estranged brother who has suffered a heart attack in Wisconsin. His deep yearning for reconciliation gives him the energy and strength he needs to fulfill his mission.

Strangers in Good Company focuses on group of long-lived women who take shelter in an abandoned farmhouse when their tour bus breaks down. While they wait for other transportation, they share the stories of their lives with each other.

A Sunday in the Country is a French film that covers one day in 1912 in the life of an elderly painter who is visited in his country home by his son and daughter. This beautifully shot drama catches the often unjust dynamism of family politics.

Seymour: An Introduction is a cogent and exquisite documentary about Seymour Bernstein, a classical pianist who has spent the last 30 years of his life passing on his wisdom and counsel to his students.

Things to Come is a touching portrait of a resilient woman facing multiple challenges as she ages.

The Trip to Bountiful recounts an old woman's trip to the Gulf Coast town where she grew up and raised her family. This rich drama reveals the manifold ways in which people deal with love, faith, hope, death, and loss.

Trouble With the Curve zeroes in on the toll of aging on Gus Lobel, the most heralded scout in baseball thanks to his finely honed skills, love of the game, and common sense. When his daughter arrives to help him out, the two of them engage in a journey from estrangement to honest intimacy. Here is a father-daughter reunion of sorts that reflects the challenges faced by grown children as they try to renegotiate their relationships with their aging parents.

A Walk in the Woods treat us to the pleasure of watching two men with very different personalities cope with each other's flaws and vulnerabilitieswhich and gives us a delightful chance to savor the acting skills of veteran film stars Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.

Inspiring Documentaries

Breath Made Visible is an enchanting documentary about dance legend Anna Halprin. Archival footage from her extraordinary career shows her performance at the Joyce Theatre when she was 80; her pioneering work with using dance as a healing tool with cancer and AIDS patients; her creation of "Seniors Rocking" involving people ages 65 - 100 performing in rocking chairs; and her "Intensive Care," a work about the process of death and dying.

Cyber-Seniors is a touching and humorous documentary about a group of Canadian elders who are taught how to use the Internet by a convivial cadre of teenagers who serve as their mentors. This film shows the ample benefits of cross-generational interaction, especially when the youngsters are able to share their knowledge to improve the lives of their elders.

Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde presents the practice of reverence by a cowboy who was outraged when he saw wild mustangs being rounded up and confined in small corrals before being sent to the slaughterhouse. In 1988, he purchased 11,000 acres in the Black Hills of South Dakota and set up the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary so 500 horses could run free. This documentary demonstrates how elders can find fulfillment with service projects.

The Way We Get By is an inspiring documentary about three elderly people in Maine who serve as airport greeters of the military troops leaving for or returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their stories illustrate how the spiritual practice of kindness can enrich one's own life and give meaning to others.

More Films on Conscious Aging