Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Growing old gracefully

This evening I watched a DVD of On Golden Pond which has a moving portrayal of an elderly couple (Norman and Ethel Thayer) who struggle to face old age and their mortality and a strained relationship with their daughter, Chelsea. Norman is a grumpy old man who is more morose than Toby Ziegler on West Wing. In contrast, Ethel has a passion for life and can see the best in her husband.

The scenery and photography is beautiful. I particularly liked some of the dialogue. Here is an interaction between Billy (the 13 year old son of Chelsea's fiance).
[A complete script of the movie is here].
Ethel: You mustn't let Norman upset you, Billy.
Billy: Sure.

Ethel: He wasn't yelling at you, you know.

Billy: Sounds like he is yelling at me.

Ethel: No. He was yelling at life.

Billy: What the heck does that mean?

Ethel: It means he's like an old lion. He has to remind himself that he can still roar. Billy... sometimes... you have to look hard at a person... and remember... that he's doing the best he can. He's just trying to find his way, that's all. Just like you.

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