Grownups fete ‘Speech’

AARP celebrates pics for older auds

Despite taking home every best actor trophy so far this awards season, Colin Firth seemed genuinely embarrassed by the standing ovation he received for his “King’s Speech” perf, at the 10th Annual Movies for Grownups Awards. Perhaps that’s because the audience was overflowing with Hollywood’s old guard, people who, as the just-turned-50 star put it, “know a thing or two.”

Held by AARP The Magazine at the Beverly Wilshire on Monday, the awards celebrate the kinds of films that the mag’s 47 million over-50 readers want to see. Movies like the Reader’s Choice Award “The King’s Speech,” which continues to pick up speed as it hurtles toward Oscar Sunday.

“The King’s Speech” crew including Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Tom Hooper and David Seidler brought along Lord Frederick Windsor (George V was his great grandpa) to help carry off the best picture award as Hollywood royalty looked on. Angela Lansbury, Martin Landau, Mickey Rooney and Hal Holbrook laughed as Carl and Rob Reiner broke up the place and Helen Mirren accepted her “breakthrough” award via satellite.

“It’s so great to be my age and finally break through something! I regret not being there to get drunk and get an award. There’s nothing better than that,” the 65-year-old actress joked.

Other prizewinners actually on hand to accept included Andy Garcia, who won for “City Island,” John Wells for “The Company Men,” Phylicia Rashad for “For Colored Girls” and Lesley Manville for “Another Year.” Jaclyn Smith and Cheryl Ladd handed Manville her trophy, while Jacqueline Bisset, Mimi Rogers, Susan Blakely, Wendie Malick, Jane Seymour and co-host Dana Delany cheered her on.

“Women over 40, 50, even 60 are playing women who are sexy!” Manville exclaimed. “We are still good-looking women who have a lot to say!”

Still good looking, too, were many of the men in the house, like Perry King, Michael Nouri, Alan Thicke, Tony Bennett, co-host Peter Gallagher and the night’s lifetime achievement award winner, Robert Redford. As the 74-year-old star accepted his prize from Sally Field late in the evening, the thinned-out crowd stood and cheered again.

“The AARP is about retiring,” Redford said staunchly, “but I am not retiring. I may drop, but I’m not going to stop.”

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