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What do Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sally Field, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, Helen Mirren and Rita Moreno have in common? All of them are over 75 years old and playing major roles like Hollywood blockbuster 80 for Brady, Shazam! Wrath of the Gods And Book Club: The Next Chapter. Should we change our view of aging?


Picture 80 for BradyIn theaters on February 3, it tells the adventures of four women between the ages of 76 and 85. road trip Attend the Super Bowl to see their idol Tom Brady in action. The screenplay is based on a true story. In Book Club: The Next Chapter, on screens in May, four friends from the first film in 2018 head to Italy for a bachelor party… and nothing goes as planned, of course! In both films, we see Jane Fonda, 85, still in good shape.

“It’s good to see 75-80-year-old women getting into cinema. The message of these films is one of joy and hope about growing older. “There is not only suffering and suffering, we have fun even as we get older, but we also need to see something more realistic,” thinks the sexologist and teacher. Aging with grace, Jocelyn Robert. “All that endures is the thought of eternal youth! To be an acceptable and interesting older woman, you have to flirt, be pretty and soft, sin, beautiful hair and stuff, but this is Hollywood cinema, you have to dream people! »

Sociologist Francine Descaris, newly in her 80s, is hopeful to see that not everyone ages the same and that some are doing well. However, she thinks this phenomenon is not the majority. “We’re still in an age where we think it’s lucky to be over 80,” he said. I have aged well, am healthy, and still teach at a university. He quotes General Charles de Gaulle: “Old age is a shipwreck. “Aging is paradoxical, it both says to you: I am still capable, but for how long? “, she says.

Photo by Martin Chamberland, Archives Law Press

Francine Descaris is Professor of Sociology at the University of Quebec in Montreal

We are full of admiration at the sight of some older women who are still active and exceptional, but we are completely indifferent to others who lack beauty, power, physical strength or mobility. A very tough look. We hold on to the elderly.

Francine Descarries, sociologist and professor at UQAM

The sociologist recalls that the presence of these actresses in cinema is the result of the labor of women who claimed to be more in the film industry. “Started with women over 50 and continues today. »

Is it a reaction to infection? “We are so familiar with old people and old people, we paint such a pessimistic portrait, we see these overwhelming images of loneliness, it is good to see these American jokes, even if they are exaggerated! “says Francine Descaris, a professor at UQAM. “The baby boomers are approaching this age and they need comfort! »

Comment shared by Jocelyn Robert. “Old age increases! We are outnumbered and we have demands. »

Photo by Martin Tremblay, Press Archives

Jocelyn Robert, sexologist and author of the book Aging with grace

Epidemic marks a terrible age. This is the beginning of a kind of revolution, because we are not half the people as we thought for a long time! What’s changing is that baby boomers are getting to that age… and they’ve never been quiet. They want to change things.

Jocelyn Robert, sexologist and author of the book Aging with grace

Changing perspective

Talking to our experts, we realize that we need to change our view of aging. French sociologist Melissa-Asli Petit, an expert on aging subjects, notes that often, after the age of 55, decline is dangerous and women can become invisible in cinema. “The sociologist explains that we need to be represented by showing different profiles of complete, modern women, women who are not limited to grandmotherly roles in public, media and cinema. We should have more role models and respect these women in their individual achievements. »

Photo provided by the product

On Helen Mirren (76). Shazam! Wrath of the Gods

He believes that the construction of our view of aging begins in childhood.

Photo courtesy of MÉlissa-ASLI PETIT

Melissa-Asley Pettit is a sociologist specializing in aging issues

There is an education system that needs to be done. It starts with children’s literature and children’s movies, but also with the development of intergenerational connections.

Mélissa-Asli Petit is a sociologist specializing in aging topics

Also, she looks in the picture 80 for BradyA true family entertainer, a movie for all generations, with American football star Tom Brady.

Mélissa-Asli Petit thinks that we still live in an ageist society with negative social representations of old age, exhibiting many prejudices and stereotypes. “The first step to change is to be careful what you say and look your age. Whether I’m 30, 40, 50 or 60, am I comfortable with my age? There’s social pressure on our relationship to age and the body, complicating the matter, and every age is different. We should tell ourselves that they are giving benefits.

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Tom Brady plays his role 80 for BradyIn addition to being one of the producers of the film.

In Quebec, one in five is 65 and older (20.8% according to the Institut de la statistique du Québec), and this proportion is increasing. Sexologist Jocelyn Robert notes that ironically, aging cannot be avoided and aging must be reinvented.

“We should be proud of who we are and care more about the elderly, especially women, because getting old is very difficult. We don’t give them enough voice, but often, let’s face it, they isolate themselves. Why? What is expected of a man in a society? Because they have a sense of not matching that, which means being a useful and productive person. You really have to change the mindset, and in that sense, these Hollywood movies are great.”

80 for Brady (80 for BradyFrench version) will hit theaters on February 3, Shazam! Wrath of the GodsMarch 17, and Book Club: The Next ChapterMay 12.

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