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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Grandma (2015)

When her granddaughter (Julia Garner) asks her for the money for an abortion, her grandmother (Lily Tomlin) doesn't have the money. So she and her granddaughter make several visits to the grandmother's past acquaintances to try and raise the funds. It's a journey that will prove surprising and memorable. Films about senior citizens normally drive me up a wall. Usually, they're films about seniors acting like adolescents (think Don Ameche breakdancing in COCOON) or dealing with sickness and death (think Haneke's AMOUR) . GRANDMA is a breath of fresh air! As written and directed by Paul Weitz with a firebrand of a performance by Tomlin. Tomlin's Grandma is definitely not adorable. She's a vital,  intelligent but angry woman ..... she's also more than a bit of an a-hole. It's also the story of three generations of women in one family (Marcia Gay Harden is Tomlin's daughter and Garner's mother) where one sees the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Weitz doesn't tie it all up in a neat little ribbon and at the film's end, while its characters have looked at their imperfections right in the face, there's no guarantee of change. Tomlin is supported by a terrific cast including Sam Elliott (if there's any justice, he'll get an Oscar nomination), the late Elizabeth Pena, Judy Greer, Laverne Cox, John Cho and even that 60s cutie Judy Geeson (TO SIR WITH LOVE) shows up as Greer's mother.

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