Let's not split hairs, gray or otherwise.
Things were looking up for audiences age 50-plus in 2013. A decent number of high-profile movies starring people of "a certain age" were released in theaters nationwide. Unfortunately, that didn't mean all of what came out was high quality.
On the dramatic side, 77-year-old Robert Redford masterfully played a sailor confronting his mortality in the underseen "All Is Lost," while on a sillier side of the aisle, Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline, Morgan Freeman and Robert De Niro wolf-packed their way to a bachelor party in "Last Vegas."
There were other, ahem, mature offerings, not always showing veteran stars at their best.
De Niro and Sylvester Stallone duked it out in the big box-office dud "Grudge Match."
"Stand Up Guys" Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin were anything but after critics tore the film down. And "Red 2" reunited an A-team of actors playing senior spies, but deposited them in a C-grade sequel.
On the classier front, Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman directed a plucky "Quartet," while Michael Apted's growing up/getting older documentary series, "56 Up," crept into the middle ages.
If we wanted affirmation that Hollywood is at least paying attention to aging baby boomers, the Academy Award nominations were a wink and nod toward the older actor and audiences.
Two female acting powerhouses -- 64-year-old trophy hoarder Meryl Streep ("August: Osage County") and 79-year-old class act Judi Dench ("Philomena") -- landed in the best actress category. "Philomena" also collected a surprise best picture nomination.
The cheeky yet tender "Nebraska," a dramedy about old age and family dysfunction in the Midwest, scored a best picture nod, and two of its most mature characters, played by the 77-year-old Bruce Dern and 84-year-old June Squibb, captured nominations; he for best actor, she for best supporting actress.
While the films generated accolades and plenty of buzz, none of them was a blockbuster.
The good news, however, is that many other gems are waiting to be mined for the 50-plus audience, including the recent Bay Area release of "Gloria." (Better see that one fast before it runs off from theaters.)
THREE to see
Two middle-aged people -- the father of the groom-to-be and the mother of the bride-to-be -- fall for each other amid all sorts of family malarkey in Italy. Enchanting performances by Pierce Brosnan and Trine Dyrholm. (On DVD.)
Paul Eenhoorn hits the exact notes as the complex Martin, a man dealing with his own past while helping inmates transition out of a Reno prison. (Available on Netflix streaming.)
The character-driven study captures the loneliness and the repressed sexuality its restless 58-year-old single female character experiences.
Paulina García is a revelation as Gloria, a divorcee who frequents nightclubs to try to get her groove on. She does just that when she meets a man (Sergio Hernández) and the two start a complicated relationship. Director Sebastián Leilo doesn't shy away from the sex nor the problems of either character. It's one terrific film. (Just released in the Bay Area.)
It's slow, but there are a host of other rewards, including von Trotta's use of footage from the court proceedings and Janet McTeer's radiant performance in a small role as popular novelist Mary McCarthy ("The Group"). Thought-provoking and literate. (Available on DVD.)