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Grandma – Film Review V2.0

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Grandma – Film Review by Fran Winston

Directed by: Paul Weitz

Starring: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Judy Greer, Laverne Cox, Sam Elliott, Nat Wolff, John Cho

In cinemas December 11th

Don’t let the starry cast fool you when it comes to this offering. This is Lily Tomlin’s movie and everyone else (except perhaps Garner) is merely a cameo player to her Elle. She is a lesbian poet and academic who has just broken up with her girlfriend when her granddaughter Sage (Garner) arrives on her doorstep announcing she is pregnant and looking for money for a termination. After recently cutting up her credit cards and clearing her debts Elle is broke so the pair embark on a trek around the city trying to raise the cash before Sage’s appointment.

It is hard to believe it has been 27 years since Tomlin made a movie. She is as vibrant and fresh as ever. She is completely hypnotic to the extent that it sometimes difficult to focus on the other players. Her scenes with Sam Elliot are like an acting masterclass with both really giving their all. The story develops nicely as we learn the intricacies of Elle’s life and relationships through her encounters with the people she knows. Equally Garner and Tomlin have a lovely rapport as grandmother and granddaughter with Garner acting as far more than Tomlin’s straight man. Told in six acts this is beautifully written and will no doubt provide plenty of material for acting students to interpret in the coming months and years.

Relying on one actor to carry an entire film can be a big risk but it has paid off for Weitz with Tomlin knocking it out of the field. Not always an easy watch thanks to the difficult subjects addressed this is nevertheless always engaging, thought provoking and above all moving. With a running time of just 79 minutes no time is wasted and it is never allowed to become boring. Not the cheeriest movie you will see this year but an excellent dramedy that deserves to be acknowledged come awards season.

 

2 replies »

  1. I’m surprised this is the first I have heard of this film! I loved Julia Garner in Electrick Children and I can see Lily Tomlin being amazing in this role! Looking forward to watching it!

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