Sunday, January 17, 2021

Some Kind of Heaven Film Review



Are you retired? Do you, or people you know, live in 55 and over retirement communities where the golden years of life are projected to be "fun under the sun" and full of carefree leisure time activities and fellow aged camaraderie?  For many, retirement is a time of fulfilling one's desires to enjoy life and accomplish the dream one has put aside when work requirements and raising a family were priorities. I know as retirees, my husband and I have been enjoying our life in our new location in the state of Colorado.  We have relished living close to our children and grandchildren, to be able to volunteer in our community in many interesting ways, and being able to have the time to travel to some far off places we always dreamed about.

 I was recently offered a chance to review a new one-hour twenty-one-minute documentary called  Some Kind of Heaven, directed by Lance Oppenheim and produced by Darren Aronofsky, The New York Times, and Los Angeles Media Fund. The film premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim. The film was acquired by Magnolia Pictures and was released on January 15, 2021. It follows a few people that live in what is thought of as a fairy tale retirement community in Florida called The Villages.  Created as a "Disneyworld for retirees" by developer Howard S. Schwartz in Central Florida in the '80s, in what was, at first, a trailer park. With housing and commercial development, it became a 30 square mile self-contained Active Adult Retirement Community.  It now houses over 120,000 residents and offers around 3,000 activities and clubs, 42 free fee golf courses, pools, walking trails, shopping, restaurants, health facilities, etc. All are a golf cart ride away for residents. 

Here is the documentary's official trailer:


Life in The Villages certainly sounds very idyllic, and for many residents, it is! This documentary, however, while showing many of the pleasures of The Villages, also focuses on four people within the communities whose experiences are not as happy one would expect. One is a widow, whose move to The Villages did not bring her the love and friendship she desired. Another, is a couple almost married 50 years who find their marriage strained under the husband's discontent and depression, which led to his use of illegal drugs.  Finally, we meet a drifter who is homeless, living in his van, and who is hoping to find a rich widow living in The Villages who will support him in his last years.  

The film is a fascinating look into some of the aspects of aging and retirement and its expectations. It shows the fact that happiness does not come from living in a place, or from a time in life, but from what makes us happy our whole life. Happiness and contentment are within--a state of mind and purpose that no sunny weather or unlimited golf or pickleball can bring us. This documentary is a candid look into four lives that have to learn that lesson and how to change their expectations.

Full disclosure: I was provided with a preview link to the film "Some Kind of Heaven" and no further compensation. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.



A local view that makes me happy!

Spread kindness and stay happy, safe, and healthy!
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42 comments:

Angie said...

Pat - sounds very interesting. As you know, we are retired, but we went to the other end of the spectrum, looking for isolation. Or at least, making it our choice if we want to be around people! As you point out, happiness is often a personal choice and not necessarily our surroundings! Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday, my friend!

Laura | Everyday Edits said...

Hi Pat, this sounds interesting. Have you watched Last Tango in Halifax?

Love the wildlife photos. We have deer in our backyard all the time. It never gets old! laura in Colorado (too)!

Gillena Cox said...

Happy Monday. Wishing you lovely days
I am at 10 on the linky today

Much💖love

Lady Fi said...

Sounds fascinating!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Pat

The Villages is a real 55 community in Florida, is it a fiction story. I remember trump having a rally there a few months ago. There was trump parade in their golf carts. The movie sounds interesting. I like your view, nice shot of the elk. Take care, enjoy your day! Wishing you a happy new week!

Jeanie said...

This sounds fascinating. I've heard of the Villages and might even know people who have had spots there (but I'm not sure if that's the right one.) It's one I'd like to see.

Barbara Rogers said...

I remember being astonished when The Villages was built...as I drove to see my adult children and grands in Tampa. I thought how awful it sounded. Then I retired and moved into a community which became a new family of friends in the mountains of North Carolina. So I can certainly understand your living in CO...and now I'm living in a Senior Apartment Complex. And I still have all my friends, but the drat-it-all pandemic really plays havoc with seeing them. I talk with them still at least!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I guess I won't bother with this! lol We live about 20 miles from the Villages and looked at homes there when we moved here. A retired life is what one makes of it. It's pretty sad to see how some people live even in a beautiful place like this! I LOVE living here. Hugs!

Rain said...

I'm assuming those are elk? They look really nice and I'm envious of the wildlife you see! :) I suppose I'm retired. I stopped working in my 30's due to a work accident, I was always labeled "disabled" but I prefer retired! :)

NCSue said...

Thanks for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2021/01/a-peek-at-our-indoor-herb-garden.html.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Thanks for this unusual contribution to Blue Monday!

Lorrie said...

Sounds interesting.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I've lived in Florida for over 40 years and have watched the advancements of senior retirement as an industry. Many poeple are not ready for retirement not only with finanaces but just as importantly emotionally. Great post.

Nellie said...

We are retired....have been for almost 19 years. We did make a move with our retirement....built this house, but didn’t actually downsize, and we live in a small development with only one street ending in a cul-de-sac. A bit further away from all that was near before. I know someone who lives in The Villages, and they are enjoying their time there. Odd that something like that doesn’t appeal to us.

Tom said...

...that local view looks like a piece of heaven to me!

Lowcarb team member said...

Retirement Villages are popular ...
I do like your last photograph, a very nice local view.

All the best Jan

stevebethere said...

Sounds interesting thanks for the jeads up I liked the pics too :-)

Have a safetastic week 😷😷😷

Photo Cache said...

Sounds like something for movie night with friends, when that's allowed.

Worth a Thousand Words

Janice said...

We chose to downsize to a one bedroom apartment to be near our only child and his family. Just a regular apartment complex that is situated across the street from a large shopping center. Until covid we stayed plenty busy with the activities of out grandchildren. Deciding what is best for yourself is not always easy, though.

Rosie said...

Thanks for your review of the Villages. I think I would like to watch it but living there would not be for me. We have been retired for 7 years and enjoy living in our house we have lived in for 50 years since we were first married. I can't imagine living in a retirement village but might do so if I lived on my own as I think I would feel more secure and would not have to be concerned with maintenance of the property. Each to his own.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I do want to see this film. As we’ve spent almost half our time in Florida for years (pre-Covid) , we of course had heard of the Villages and one year stayed a few nights on one of our FL explorations. I could go on in greater detail, but in short, the whole place felt “fakey” to us. It seems to be for retired people who don’t want to know or think about anyone who is different from them... they just want to live among their “own kind. And I’m sure you know that the prevailing political views there s are quite the opposite of ours. (Haha,maybe I just want to live among my own kind ...well, if I did, the Villages would definitely not be the place.).

April J Harris said...

I am 55 but my husband and I are not thinking of retirement yet. That said, this sounds like quite an interesting film whatever stage of life you are at. Thank you so much for sharing your review at the Hearth and Soul Link Party, Pat! Have a lovely week!

Su-sieee! Mac said...

The two elk kissing is sooooo adorable and sweet. I visited a senior community once. Other than having access to a swimming pool and driving a golf cart, I can skip living in one. But that’s today, who knows how I’ll feel much later. The documentary sounds intriguing.

Rambling Woods said...

I know a couple who live there and it has not been a happy place of late...hopefully things will get better...Michelle

Tai East said...

Sounds like this would be quite an interesting documentary to watch, Pat!

Donna @ Modern on Monticello said...

Thanks for sharing. I look forward to watching this movie now. #HomeMattersParty

kwarkito said...

a beautiful view, in this marvellous landscape

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

It's intriguing and since I am retired, something of interest to me.

I've known several of my relatives who have retired to Florida to similar faciities and they like them. The aging thing rears it's head though and they often move back to be closer to children and other support people when they need to move into assisted living or long term care.

Others, like my parents moved from well established social networks to somewhere else and it took longer than they thought to get another network.

I'm kind of plugged into my community here so I am happy living where I am. I am intrigued by the movie though.

Jim said...

Top shot.

carol l mckenna said...

I personally like the final photo (which I believe is from your area?)
Film sounds intriguing but wouldn't want to live there ~ just might watch the film, though ~ thanks for the review ~

Moment by moment,

A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Michelle said...

I have read about The Villages before. An interesting place, but not where I would want to retire. I will have to watch this and I like a good documentary. Thanks for linking up.

Joanne said...

That sounds like a really interesting film! We know a few people that live in Disney "towns" in Florida-- If I'm not mistaken Disney also has a whole huge community of younger and more family style residences too.

A Bit of the Blarney said...

Cerainly sounds like an interesting movie. Retirement is what it is for each of us and not at all the same. Hoping you have a wonderful weekend!

MarilynsTreats said...

Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

betty-NZ said...

Sounds like an interesting film.
I love your view with the lovely visitors.

Thank you for linking up at 'My Corner of the World' this week!

diane b said...

That sounds like an interesting doco for oldies. I can't imagine a retirement village that huge. Ours only has 120 units. It is a small community where most people know each other. most are very supportive too.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

I'm always on the lookout for a good film, thanks! Love the last photo.

Barb said...

I think this would be fun to watch, but I can't imagine us moving to such a huge retirement village. Too many people and too many activities to join! I think we're more loners than joiners. Love that last photo!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

It fascinates me that a gold-mine town has an opera house. Mr Tabor was indeed a smart man and Colorado is lucky that he was also a generous man. Beautiful old building.

Michelle said...

Thanks for linking up!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

You're so right, Pat. It's not about where you live -- it's who you live with and how you view life and what you want to do with the precious days you have on Earth. You and Vinny are making the most of it.

R's Rue said...

❤️❤️❤️