Michelle Yeoh, who plays Evelyn Wang in “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” is nominated for best actress.

AARP’s annual Movies for Grownups Awards are back, live from Los Angeles — and you’re invited.

Alan Cumming hosts the star-studded special, which will be broadcast by “Great Performances” on PBS on Friday, Feb. 17, at 9 p.m. ET (check local listings), on and the PBS Video app.

Brian Tyree Henry will present the Movies for Grownups Career Achievement Award to Jamie Lee Curtis, whose work is bigger and better than ever at age 64.

The many people who scrutinize the Movies for Grownups Awards for clues to who might also get Oscar nominations — historically, not a bad bet — will notice the most-nominated films: “The Fabelmans” (6 noms), “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “The Woman King” (5 each), and “Tár” and “She Said” (4 each).

But every honored title is significant. We spotlight films and shows that feature crucial issues, thoughtful story lines and the most talented grownup filmmakers and actors who speak directly to the 50-plus audience, the crucial demographic supporting the best work in film and TV. Without grownup audiences, art house films, indies and TV that qualifies as art would not survive — and when audiences flocked back to theaters this year, it was grownups who led the charge. Thanks to AARP and its viewers, there’s more to Hollywood than young stars in superhero spandex.

But movies for grownups are thriving, on big and small screens. Here are the ones to watch, the latest nominees for the Movies for Grownups Awards, in alphabetical order.

Best Picture/Best Movie for Grownups

“Elvis.” A musical extravaganza and a double love story about Presley and his mistreated missus, Priscilla, but more centrally about his doomed bromance with the shadowy manager who created and arguably destroyed him.

“Everything Everywhere All At Once.” The most exuberant multiverse movie ever is also a wildly entertaining family drama about a Chinese immigrant who raids other dimensions and saves the world.

“The Fabelmans.” Steven Spielberg fictionalizes his own life story in a touching film about a teen genius obsessed and possessed by movies.

“Tár.” A film with all the volcanic passion and drama of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, which its tragically flawed heroine ambitiously conducts.

“Top Gun: Maverick.” You’re never too old to feel the need for speed, as proven by this flyboy epic that grownup viewers turned into a blockbuster.

“The Woman King.” “Gladiator’s” he-men are pip-squeaks compared to the all-female army defending 19th-century Dahomey against enslavers — and it’s inspired by a true story.

“Women Talking.” A powerful, loosely fact-based fable about women debating their response to male predators in their religious community, with a stellar cast at the peak of their powers.

Best Director

James Cameron. Nothing in film history could top his No. 1 CGI blockbuster “Avatar” — except possibly his even more eye-popping “Avatar: The Way of Water.”

Todd Field. In “Tár,” Field’s triumphant return to filmmaking after 16 years, he crafts with absolute control a portrait of a titanic conductor spiraling out of control.

Baz Luhrmann. Only a talent as extravagant as Luhrmann could capture the iconic singer’s soul in “Elvis.”

Gina Prince-Bythewood. Bythewood saw “Braveheart” 100 times, and outdid it with “The Woman King,” her own movie about heroes routing invaders. Sisterhood was never more powerful onscreen.

Steven Spielberg. “The Fabelmans” transforms Spielberg’s youth into a coming-of-age tale that’s also a deep story about grownups’ love and sorrow.

Best Actor

Bill Nighy stars in “Living,” which is based on Akira Kurosawa’s 1952 classic “Ikiru.”

Tom Cruise. At 60, the last true movie star made the biggest smash hit of his career, “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Brendan Fraser. He gives a daring, difficult, utterly moving performance as an infinitely kind and regretful man at the end of his fraying rope in “The Whale.”

Tom Hanks. In “A Man Called Otto,” Hanks plays a bitter Pittsburgh widower whose grumpiness is cured by colorful neighbors and a cat named Schmagel.

Bill Nighy. In “Living,” he gets (at last!) the role of a lifetime — as a man with months to live who makes the most of every moment — and knocks it out of the park.

Adam Sandler. The comedian proves himself a master of drama as an NBA talent scout in “Hustle.”

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett. As a self-destructive egomaniac genius in “Tár,” she has perfect pitch.

Viola Davis. She was intense in “The Help” and “How to Get Away With Murder,” but more so as the aging, indomitable warrior leader in “The Woman King.”

Lesley Manville. In the summer’s feel-good hit “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris,” she plays a widowed British cleaning lady who fulfills her dream of owning a Dior frock.

Emma Thompson. She brilliantly plays a widowed teacher with a hopeless love life that gets reignited in “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande.”

Michelle Yeoh. She soared at 38 in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and still higher at 60 as a kung-fu champ who’s out of this world in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

Best Supporting Actor

Ke Huy Quan, who plays Waymond Wang in “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” is nominated for best supporting actor.

Andre Braugher. He gives gravitas to the role of Dean Baquet, a New York Times editor who championed the reporters who brought down Harvey Weinstein, in “She Said.”

Brendan Gleeson. He’s feckin’ fantastic as the most irritable Irishman on the island in “The Banshees of Inisherin.”

Woody Harrelson. Who could play “Triangle of Sadness’” alcoholic Marxist captain of a luxury ship for plutocrats with more half-mad brio than Harrelson?

Judd Hirsch. With a few minutes of screen time in “The Fabelmans,” he makes the young hero’s uncle indelible, a font of cranky wisdom about an artist’s life and what it costs his family.

Ke Huy Quan. A child star of “Indiana Jones and the Temple” of Doom, he tried for one last role at 51 — and wound up a bigger star than ever as the schlump-turned-hunky husband in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

Best Supporting Actress

Jamie Lee Curtis, who plays Deirdre in “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” is nominated for best supporting actress.

Angela Bassett. As “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s” grieving mom and noble queen, she helped make the Marvel Cinematic Universe artistically respectable.

Patricia Clarkson. Amid the emotional journalistic maelstrom of “She Said,” Clarkson plays the most experienced woman in the room, a calm, quietly formidable, fiercely intelligent editor.

Jamie Lee Curtis. “Everything Everywhere All at Once’s” Michelle Yeoh needs a villainous foil of equal dramatic stature, and Curtis’ malevolent IRS agent provides it.

Judith Ivey. To play a church elder in “Women Talking,” she got to know real Mennonites, and her performance radiates authenticity and the authority of age.

Gabrielle Union. At 50, she aced the greatest role of her distinguished career as a tough single mom in “The Inspection.”

Best Screenwriter

Novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, pictured in 2017, is nominated for best screenwriter for “Living.” (Associated Press)

Todd Field. Before he could make those inspired directing choices in “Tár,” he had to write his first original screenplay in 27 years, a subtle meditation on power and its perils.

Tony Kushner and Steven Spielberg. Long collaboration on masterpieces (“Lincoln,” “Munich,” “West Side Story”) fused their minds so that they could create a young Spielberg-inspired character who transcends mere memoir in “The Fabelmans.”

Kazuo Ishiguro. It was daring of him to adapt “Ikiru,” Kurosawa’s immortal film about mortality, as a British story in “Living.” But he pulled it off.

Rebecca Lenkiewicz. In “She Said,” she dramatized not only the public story of the Weinstein case but the hearts and lives of the women he attacked, and the ones who stopped him.

Dana Stevens. She managed to make “The Woman King” a “Game of Thrones”-sized fantasy, a history-based Shakespearean tragedy, a complex moral inquiry and a comic-book movie with characters who feel real.

Best Grownup Love Story

“Empire of Light.” A troubled woman and a man raised to look after wounded souls find romance in the magical world of an English movie house.

“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande.” An emotionally naked tale that takes midlife sexuality seriously and treats it with respect, not demeaning comedy (though it’s also got winning humor).

“Lady Chatterley’s Lover.” This may be the most winningly steamy film adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s ode to instinctive passion.

“A Love Song.” After decades of beautifully playing tough, scary characters, from “Winter’s Bone” to “Breaking Bad,” at 60 Dale Dickey gets her first romantic lead role, and first romantic onscreen kiss, from Wes Studi. It’s sweet, poignant and a bit like “Nomadland.”

“Ticket to Paradise.” In their sixth movie together, Julia Roberts and George Clooney convincingly portray a divorced couple whose bickering sounds like practiced harmony.

Best Intergenerational Movie

“A Man Called Otto.” A widower questions his life’s value, until he connects with a younger generation.

“Armageddon Time.” Anthony Hopkins plays the wisest, dearest grandpa who ever was, enlarging another movie inspired by the director’s childhood.

“Everything Everywhere All at Once.” The inspiration for the heroine’s parallel-universe adventures is her quest to heal her fractious extended family.

“The Fabelmans.” It’s not just about teen director Sammy Fabelman but the entire Fabelman family, and the parents are as central as the ostensible protagonist.

“Till.” The story of a murdered Chicago teen, his mother, her mother, his Southern relations and their history-changing campaign for justice.

Best Time Capsule

“Armageddon Time.” A movie that recreates the painful racial and class divisions of 1980s Queens, New York.

“Babylon.” The 1920s never roared louder than in this melodrama about bad behavior in long-ago Hollywood.

“Elvis.” Another film that grownup viewers made a hit, partly because it so vividly recreates the era when Presley’s wriggly hips and curled lip rocked the world.

“The Fabelmans.” It takes you back to the ’60s and the films that formed Spielberg’s sensibilities, and ours.

“Till.” It shows you the world of 1955, and the civil rights movement that Emmett Till’s lynching helped spark.

Best Ensemble

“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.” Daniel Craig’s sleuth wouldn’t be half as fun without the large cast of colorfully flawed characters trapped on a murderous isle.

“Nope.” Jordan Peele’s UFO horror flick for smart people boasts a vast assemblage of Black acting talent.

“She Said.” A great many she’s get their say in a film about the end of a conspiracy of silence created by men.

“The Woman King.” Movies about male potentates often focus mostly on the top guy, but General Nanisca’s troops are numerous and distinctive characters.

“Women Talking.” Females often get short shrift in movies, but this one lets a great many of them speak their piece.

Best Documentary

“Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down.” The rising U.S. representative was shot in the head, but she fought back to health, and against guns.

“Lucy & Desi.” The story of America’s favorite TV couple needs some ’splainin’, which this film does well.

“The Pez Outlaw.” No fiction film is wilder than the true David-and-Goliath story of an entrepreneurial Pez dispenser smuggler.

“Sidney.” A fitting tribute to the towering talent of Sidney Poitier.

“Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off.” An inspiring look at the tumultuous life of a skateboarder still shredding at 54.

Best Foreign Film

“Broker” from South Korea, directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, is nominated for best foreign film. (Zip Cinema)

“Argentina, 1985” (Argentina). The true story of underdog prosecutors who took on the bloodthirsty fascists who ran Argentina.

“Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” (Mexico). Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s trippy answer to Fellini’s “8½,” a filmmaker’s plunge into his past, and his country’s history.

“Broker” (South Korea). Female cops hunt two men who sell abandoned infants to rich folk, and all wind up forming a sort of family together with a mom who wants her baby back and a scrappy orphan.

“One Fine Morning” (France). Léa Seydoux stars in a film about a woman caring for her ailing dad and falling for an old friend.

“The Quiet Girl” (Ireland). A neglected rural Irish girl finds love in the warm embrace of her distant cousin’s clan.


Tim Appelo covers entertainment and is the film and TV critic for AARP. Previously, he was the entertainment editor at Amazon, video critic at Entertainment Weekly, and a critic and writer for The Hollywood Reporter, People, MTV, The Village Voiceand LA Weekly.

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