A stellar line-up

All the films in Palace Cinema’s APIA Young At Heart Film Festival

The Young At Heart Film Festival is the only one of its kind in Australia.  Designed totally for seniors, the fastest growing cinema-going demographic in the country– it showcases brand new unreleased film, overlooked recent gems, festival favourites and smattering of restored golden oldies. More than just a selection of films, the festival is an inclusive social event for film lovers aged 60 and up.

However this year’s stellar line-up of 16 films may well attract the attention of a younger audience too – especially as it provides a chance to preview some of this year’s most anticipated titles yet to be released. Case in point: the sensitive adaptation of Ian McEwan’s acclaimed novel On Chesil Beach  due out in August starring art-house favourite Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) and Billy Howle (together above) as Florence and Edward, a young couple on their honeymoon at the English seaside that struggle to physically connect.

Then there’s the festival opener (also scheduled later this year) The Bookshop  starring Emily Mortimer (above), Patricia Clarkson and Bill Nighy. It’s the story of a woman who decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop and in doing so she creates a cultural awakening.

Other future releases you can preview include:

Last Flag Flying, an American comedy-drama directed by Richard Linklater (Boyhood, Before Sunrise) and based on the 2005 novel by Darryl Ponicsan. It stars Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne as three Vietnam War veterans who reunite after one of their sons is killed in the Iraq War.

Chappaquiddick, a tense, scrupulous and authentic piece of history about Ted Kennedy’s life and political career after the fatal car accident in 1969 that claimed the life of Mary Jo Kopechne. It stars Australia’s Jason Clarke (above) as the doomed senator. And  LBJ  sees Woody Harrelson stepping into Lyndon B. Johnson’s boots beside Jennifer Jason Leigh’s role as Johnson’s wife, Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson, in Rob Reiner’s political biopic, which centres on the U.S. President’s early political career and presidential term at the White House.

A selection of acclaimed foreign language films also give the program spice and breadth:

Nominated for Best Film at the Berlin International Film Festival, Return To Montauk (above) follows author Max Zorn (Stellan Skarsgård) on a book tour to New York where he meets up again with the woman he could never forget (Nina Hoss). Director Hugo Gélin’s bona fide crowd-pleaser Two Is Family, became the most popular French-language film worldwide in 2017. Also from France, Aurore, a drama directed by Blandine Lenoir, stars Agnès Jaoui as Aurore, a 50-year-old, recently divorced, unemployed and soon-to be grandmother. With the grace and economy of a satisfying novella, The Desert Bride handles complex themes with maturity, and affectingly delivers further proof that Spaniard Paulina García is one of the most remarkable actresses in world cinema. And Swinger , an ensemble Danish comedy following a group of couples on their annual swinger’s weekend trip, when a new arrival shakes things up.

Documentaries about musicians, artists and first time swimmers give the program depth and different perspectives:

The Guy From Oklahoma  is the vibrant story of American visionary artist Anado McLauchlin. Born in Oklahoma, his tumultuous life took him to San Francisco, New York and India before finally settling down and opening up a gallery and sculpture garden in the outskirts of a Mexican village. Sea Dreaming Girls  follows a group of elderly women who live in a tiny Italian mountain village and decide to go to the sea for the first time. And Gurrumul – the definitive portrait of one of Australia’s greatest musicians, Gurrumul is a beautiful celebration of his life and career.

The festival will also feature a specially curated retrospective on Leading Ladies where audiences can re-live the greats on the big screen:  Bette Davis in All About Eve, Judy Garland in A Star Is Born and Dame Maggie Smith in The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie .

If you’ve clicked on any of the title links above, you’re already at the official YAHH site, where you can book tickets and choose your preferred seating. And you may well have already noticed those generous ticket prices, just $8.50 for the over-60s ($8 for Palace’s gold club members).

And don’t forget – we’re giving away 5 double passes to Festival films too. Details on how to enter are here.

Sydney: April 2 – 11, Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona & Palace Central
April 2 – 11, Palace Electric Cinema
Adelaide: April 2 – 11, Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas & Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas
Melbourne: April 17 – 25, Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay & Palace Cinema Como
Brisbane: April 17 – 25, Palace Centro & Palace Barracks