Tony Danza helps celebrate recent ‘Movies for Grownups’

Third annual PBS telecast features Tony Danza as host

Annette Bening receives a special honor on “Great Performances: Movies for Grownups Awards With AARP The Magazine” Sunday on PBS (check local listings).

If the aging-concerned AARP is going to sanction film honors, it’s logical for them to be called the Movies for Grownups Awards.

Though the event has existed for almost two decades, it’s been televised only since 2018 by PBS’ “Great Performances,” which shows the 19th annual edition staged by AARP The Magazine on Sunday, Jan. 19 (check local listings). Recorded the previous weekend at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, Calif., the ceremony – celebrating, per AARP, “films that resonate with older viewers” — is hosted by Tony Danza and features the presentation of a Career Achievement Award to Annette Bening.

“I’m excited about this,” Danza says. “I wish I had a few really great movies under my own belt that I could point to. But Annette Bening is such a favorite of mine, and I know a lot of these people, so it’s exciting for me to be there and do the job.”

Actually, along with his television successes in “Taxi” and “Who’s the Boss?,” Danza has earned his own acclaim for films with mature themes … perhaps most notably 2004’s Oscar-winning “Crash,” casting him as an actor who calmly challenges his director (Terrence Howard).

Tony Danza serves as host of “Great Performances: Movies for Grownups Awards With AARP The Magazine” Sunday on PBS (check local listings).

“I really wanted the part that Matt Dillon got, the racist cop,” Danza notes, ”but it didn’t go my way. Then Paul (Haggis, the film’s director and co-writer) said, ‘You know, I’ve got this other part,’ and I said, ‘OK. I’d love to be in it.’ Then, after we went to a screening of it, Matt came up to me and said, ‘I think (yours is) the most real scene in the movie.’ So, I felt very good about it.”

Following are the nominees in several categories in the 19th Annual Movies for Grownups Awards:

Best picture/best movie for grownups: “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”; “Bombshell”; “The Farewell”; “The Irishman”; “Marriage Story”; “Little Women”; “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”; “The Two Popes”

Best actor: Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”; Robert De Niro, “The Irishman”; Eddie Murphy, “Dolemite Is My Name”; Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”; Adam Sandler, “Uncut Gems”

Best actress: Isabelle Huppert, “Frankie”; Helen Mirren, “The Good Liar”; Julianne Moore, “Gloria Bell”; Alfre Woodard, “Clemency”; Renee Zellweger, “Judy”

Best supporting actor: Jamie Foxx, “Just Mercy”; Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”; Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”; Al Pacino, “The Irishman”; Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”

Best supporting actress: Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”; Nicole Kidman, “Bombshell”; Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers”; Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”; Zhao Shuzhen, “The Farewell”

Best director: Noah Baumbach, “Marriage Story”; Fernando Meirelles, “The Two Popes”; Sam Mendes, “1917”; Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”; Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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