(Bridge of Spies — 2015)
It’s midwinter in Cincinnati. It’s (usually) cold outside. And that means a lot of seniors living in the Tristate are staying indoors.
We talk a lot on this blog about how important it is for seniors to stay active. But it’s absolutely OK for seniors aging in place to curl up on the couch or recline in the chair and enjoy a movie or TV show once in awhile. And many older people are discovering the incredible diversity of offerings afforded by on-demand, online streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go and Amazon Prime video.
So, what’s new on those services this month? What movies or TV shows might your older loved ones want to catch up on this winter? Here are a few of our best-bet picks for seniors.
HBO’s hit serial reimagining of Michael Crichton’s 1973 film explores a futuristic, Western-themed amusement park in which wealthy adults can live out their fantasies by interacting with realistic, artificially-intelligent android characters.
The problem? The androids — and the park itself — are more than they seem. This series stars Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris and Jeffrey Wright, and was nominated for three Golden Globes.
Sharon Jones personified the adage, “It’s never too late.” A dynamic soul singer and fantastically energetic performer, Jones didn’t achieve notoriety or commercial success as a musician until she was well into her 50s, when her band Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings suddenly caught on and sparked a soul music revival among Millennial listeners.
Director Barbara Kopple’s 2015 documentary film, now on Netflix, followed Jones through a one of the last years of her life, as she struggled to balance the demands of her grueling performance schedule with a diagnosis of advanced pancreatic cancer. Jones passed away late last year, but her indomitable spirit, musical legacy and incredible live shows live on here.
Seniors who are fans of mysteries and true crime documentaries may enjoy this new Netflix entry. Host Mark Williams-Thomas investigates the real-life 1985 disappearance of wife and mother Carole Packman, whom her husband was later convicted of murdering.
Ms. Packman’s body has, to date, not been discovered. At trial, Packman’s husband steadfastly protested his innocence, but refused to otherwise testify; he’s now serving a life sentence. Did British police arrest the real perpetrator? Or is a killer still at large in the United Kingdom?
Recently added to the Hulu lineup, this 2015 Steven Spielberg-directed Cold War drama was co-authored by the Coen Brothers (The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men) and stars Tom Hanks as James B. Donovan — the real-life lawyer and former OSS general counsel who negotiated the Soviets’ 1962 release of downed American spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers.
Bridge of Spies is a gripping drama that focuses equally on the power of individuals to change the world for the better, and on the importance of maintaining personal integrity under the most intense pressure. Mark Rylance won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in this film.
Following a contentious election season — and in the wake of national scandals like the Flint water crisis, high-profile police-associated shootings that have generated protests and counter-protests, and accusations of foreign interference in our democratic processes — the nature of “inequality” has never been a hotter topic for Americans to discuss and debate.
In this five-part series filmed over the course of 2016, hosts Zach Galifianakis (Between Two Ferns), Rosario Dawson and All in the Family creator Norman Lear explore what inequality means to different Americans today.
Don’t see something here that excites you?
Good news: if you’re already watching on-demand programming online, there are plenty more films and shows to watch.
And if you’re not so tech-savvy, call your kids or grandkids over and ask them to show you how to subscribe to, navigate and watch streaming entertainment services like Netflix. They’ll be happy to teach you something new, and you can spend quality time together.
Or, if regular TV is more than enough for you, consult Google to find out what’s on in Cincinnati. You’ll find plenty of thought-provoking, entertaining programs to carry you through the long, (usually) cold Midwestern winter.
Just make sure that you’re getting up off the couch and moving around on the regular — remember, it’s important to stay physically active, even when the weather outside is frightful!