A rare and truthful focus on the elderly makes "Cocoon" a nice film
Very few films have been made with seniors as the main characters. It
seems that Hollywood producers are convinced we prefer to see younger
people on the screen -- and they're probably right. "Cocoon" is a rare
elderly-focused take on the fountain of youth concept, an ancient motif
that's enough proof in itself that humans desire young age, whether in
general or at the movies. Although science fiction, "Cocoon" is simple
and mild-mannered like its lovable old protagonists. It might be light
on drama but it's big on heart.
Loaded with stars from yesteryear, among them Don Ameche, Hume Cronyn,
Jessica Tandy and Gwen Verdon, one could say "Cocoon" was an '80s alien
movie made specifically for an older crowd. And that's fair -- they
deserve it. It's as if director Ron Howard was hoping to give his cast
some of their youth back in letting them take prominence in the film,
based on a story by David Saperstein and screenplay by Tom Benedek.
It's not riveting sci-fi material but it prompts an honest conversation
about aging, one that in reality someone of any age could understand
The film takes place in a senior living center in St. Petersburg,
Florida. As part of their recreation time, three of the senior men
enjoy swimming in the abandoned pool just through the woods around the
center. When a strange group of people come in and buy the old house
and rent a boat at the dock, the stubborn old guys still come to swim
in the pool, only it appears the people are storing rocks in the water.
They swim anyway and find that with the rocks in the pool (actually
alien cocoons) that they feel energetic, rejuvenated -- and younger.
Howard's film is easygoing. There is not a lot of suspense or gripping
conflict. Instead, you watch and get a kick out of the way these
seniors and their wives behave having been affected by the water. Their
sex drive, for example, reappears to comic effect and there's general
misbehavior. They all come off as bigger children and each have a
different reaction to this "cheating" of age. Thus the film's core
conflict of whether it's right to defy nature appears and guides the
rest of the film. It's a replacement for any major form of antagonism.
"Cocoon" is touching because the story is very frank in portraying
these seniors as having nothing to live for but each other and whatever
remaining family they have. When you're that old, a chance at prolonged
life is like being granted a whole new world of opportunity whereas
you're just biding time when you're old and physically and mentally
unable to do the things you used to.
There have been better stories, better special effects (although this
one an Oscar in 1985) and better science-fiction films, so "Cocoon" is
best appreciated as a unique film about old age, something movies
rarely focus entirely upon.
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Meet Art, Ben and Joe. Three simple, aging senior citizens who like to swim in an unguarded swimming pool next door from the old folks home they live in. So one day while they are swimming, they feel energized and "ready to take on the world!" What they don't know is that the pool was recently rented by four alien Antareans living incognito as humans. Art, Ben, Joe and their friends soon discover this and offer to help the Antareans return the cocoons back to Antarea; and as a reward, they are offered something unusually magnificent. .
War Horse was an absolute amazing film.
Midnight in Paris - Stunning cinematography, classic Woody Allen script Cocoon the Return - not as good as the first one but entertaining.
gosto muito do filme.
Saw this a long time ago, it was great..
i think this movie is absoloutely fantastic .
Enjoyable ET-inspired fable.
My Take: The all-star veteran cast is the selling point, but it's also
a sweeping story about life and love.
Ever since audiences were awe-struck with Steven Spielberg's
heart-warming and crowd-pleasing E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, many
rip-offs and knock-offs tried to duplicate the success of the film
(What blockbuster hit wouldn't). It's easy to consider Ron Howard's
COCOON as a part of this cycle, but this is a very different tale all
together. Sure it has aliens (that clearly looks like guys in an alien
suit surrounded by animated lights) that came in peace. Sure it has a
kid with a mother very worried of him suddenly running-off. Sure it
clearly wanted to be the classic that E.T. was. But COCOON also has
fine acting (by a veteran, all-star cast), a touching story and some
very humorous and sometimes uplifting moments that make it a
COCOON is much less a sci-fi movie than it is a drama, and a brilliant
one at that. Howard provides both humor and touching tear-jerking
moments and handles them both very well. Then it leaves the all-star
cast to give the performances of their career (Don Ameche is at his
peak when he boogies like John Travolta in one scene). The story
concerns the arrival of peaceful extra-terrestrial beings, disguised as
normal human beings, who aid the help of a skipper (Steve Guttenberg)
to find one of their friends trapped in the ocean floor. Upon finding
them, they are placed in a small swimming pool the next day.
Coincidentally, a couple of elders swim in the pool, who are then
endowed with youthful energy, giving them a chance to enjoy the last
remains of their life they way they wanted to.
As played by one of the best acting veterans he can handle, Howard's
fantasy is a funny, poignant and simply charming fairy tale for the
older set packed with laughs (seeing these old guys and gals party
about like a couple of college buddies are warm and funny) and
heart-breaking drama (the scenes where they discover the perils of time
and age can't help but be tear-jerking). Howard is especially good at
handling the film with originality, not looking at E.T. even for a
minute. It ain't a flawless classic as the other film is, but it is
nonetheless a very charming movie that much deserves a revisit.
Rating: **** out of 5..