Amazon Prime jolted me recently with two stellar offerings — one series and one film — that feature aging characters who don’t fit any of the stereotypes. Both affected me profoundly, and I recommend them to you:
At 68, Mort (played masterfully by Jeffrey Tambor) comes out as a trans woman who wants to be called Maura. In this sweet, smart, and strongly acted ensemble series, we see the strengths and vulnerabilities of Mort/Maura and a family of ex-wife and three adult children — who make a ton of relationship mistakes of their own.
This 10-episode series resolves many questions and leaves enough unanswered to allow for a second season, which is in the works — hurray!
Yes, there’s lots of sex in Transparent, but (boo) only Maura’s children are having it. Maura is more interested in establishing her identity and being accepted by her family than in having sex with anyone — at least in season 1. Will this change in the second season?
Craig (James Cromwell) is watching Irene (Geneviève Bujold), his wife of 61 years, lose her memory. He loves her fiercely and wants to protect her by building a house that will be easier for her to live in.
Although Craig has been building houses his whole life, he’s no match for the bureaucracy that insists on permits and strict adherence to building codes that are irrelevant to Craig (the plans are in his head; the lumber came from a tree he felled; the knowledge came from his father and a lifetime of craftsmanship and self-sufficiency).
The love and chemistry between Craig and Irene are powerful. The tenderness in their loving looks and caresses will make you applaud or cry or both. And rather than portray this elderly couple as sexless, there’s a sexy undressing scene early in the film that includes, “This never gets old. We always did passion well.”
This film is based on real people and actual events. Don’t miss it.
What films have you watched that portrayed aging and relationships in a non-stereotypical way? I look forward to your recommendations.