When I think about someone that is wise, I always envision a person that is intelligent, but not just because of the general knowledge that they have, but also because of their calm, their self awareness, their accumulated life experiences and most importantly their complete open mindedness to the ways of others. That combination of traits would take most of us a lifetime to master, and once you get all that down, then you would certainly be wise.
I really don't believe that a lot of people are truly wise when they are older. From my experiences, a lot of senior citizens are quite grumpy old bastards that don't seem to give two shits about anyone, in fact some of them are downright vicious old meanies. Not all, I also know some total 'salt of the earth' senior citizens that are completely wasted in their old bodies and unfairly hidden away from us all, but if I am being totally honest, I don't and haven't known that many of them.
Sorry oldies, but when it comes to wisdom, I'm not sure that many of you really do hold all the cards in that department. I don't consider the ability to save coupons for Coles and prune a plum tree that wise in the big scheme of things, useful sure, but wise? Not so much. And if it is really true that the senior citizens of our society really do hold all of the wisdom, then why aren't they sharing it with us? We all know what the world needs now is some bloody smarts (and love, sweet love, if you're a Burt Bacharach fan), so please old people bestow your wisdoms down on us, we need it now. Don't take it to the grave with you, share old people, share!
Nope, older is not always wiser, older is just older. More often than not older is just a wrinklier version of a person in their 40's or 50's, and I firmly hold strong to the idea that age is no indication of wisdom. Some teenagers have their shit worked out better than some 50 year olds, so clearly older always being wiser is a load of shit. It may have been the case once upon a time, but not anymore.
I do think that you should always respect your elders, they were here first and they do deserve that; but always take what they say with a grain of salt, just because they're ancient, it doesn't mean that they're wise. Everyone that you meet in this life is a teacher, the young and the old, the poor and the rich from every race and religion has something to share. Glean your wisdom from as far and wide as you can and stay open minded. Then when you are old, you will be in the ranks of 'the old and the wise' yourself and you can pass some of your own special wisdom along to future generations.
Release Date: 2007
Running Time: 114 mins
Written and directed by Tamara Jenkins, this contemplative film focuses on the lives of two long distance siblings that are brought back together by their estranged and aging father when he is diagnosed with dementia.
Lenny (Philip Bosco) is slipping into dementia and has started to act irrationally. When the responsibility of his care falls to his two estranged children, Wendy (Lara Linney) and Jon (Philip Seymour Hoffman), it becomes obvious that neither of them have the first clue about how to care for Lenny, or how to deal with this new level of responsibility.
This film really struck a chord for me, because as adults we do become less and less aware of what our parents needs really are as we become completely absorbed with our own life 'goings on'. I am sure that thousands of people go through real life situations very similar to this all the time, but we rarely talk about it, and we see even less of it depicted in cinema.
Linney and Hoffman are just terrific together here; embodying all of the pressure and confusion with something so completely ingenuous and relatable that I found myself utterly entranced.
FINAL SAY: We don't have to go after him Wendy; we're not in a Sam Shepard play.
3.5 Chili Peppers