Maturity the true charm of aging

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Maturity the true charm of aging

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I must confess that I am more attracted to older men than my peers. When I was in middle school, I had a crush on my teacher. As a college student, I was in love with a man who had already graduated from the university.

Nowadays, gracefully aging men catch my attention. So as expected, the 84th Academy Awards ceremony held in Los Angeles on Feb. 16 perfectly suited my taste.

Nominees for best actor included some of the most celebrated names in cinema. Gary Oldman, 53, was nominated for his role in “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” as the retired spy who uses his knowledge, not his muscles, to solve the case. He epitomizes dignity and looks good in an old-fashioned suit. When he was younger, Oldman often played sharp, bold protagonists but now is an actor who electrifies audiences while cleaning his glasses, according to producer Tim Bevan. His presence is irresistible to many.

Then there’s George Clooney, 50, who was nominated for his role in “The Descendents,” in which he plays Matt, a successful lawyer who had been too busy to take care of his family until his wife ends up in a coma. Matt learns that his wife was having an affair, and sets out with his two daughters to find her lover. Clooney is stellar as the indecisive and clumsy man who tries to become a better person; it is hard not to love his charming sincerity.

Clooney is also one of the most socially active entertainers in Hollywood and has been working toward the democratization of countries in Africa. And in 2006, he was nominated for an Academy Award for best director for “Good Night and Good Luck.”

Brad Pitt, 48, also made the list with “Moneyball.” The “sexiest man alive” is actually a fierce gambler; in order to prove that he was not just a pretty face but also a serious actor, he chose a series of challenging movies. He founded a production company and has made critically acclaimed films such as “The Departed” and “The Tree of Life.” In “Moneyball,” Pitt doesn’t show off his physical assets.

Passion and enthusiasm are prerequisites for my gracefully aging crushes. Unfortunately, none of the three actors took home an Oscar.

But the actor I had most passionately been cheering for won for best supporting actor. Christopher Plummer, 82, was honored for his role in “Beginners.” Maturity in the movie was the aspect that most impressed me, and it may just be the true charm of getting old.

by Lee Na-ree

* The author is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
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