|GRANDMA (director/writer: Paul Weitz; cinematographer: Tobias Datum; editor: Jonathan Corn; music: Joel P. West; cast: Lily Tomlin (Elle), Julia Garner (Sage), Marcia Gay Harden (Judy), Judy Greer (Olivia), Laverne Cox (Deathy), Sam Elliott (Karl), Nat Wolff (Cam), John Cho (Chau); Runtime: 79; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Paul Weitz/Andrew Miano/ Terry Dougas/Paris Latsis; Sony Pictures Classics; 2015)|
|"Breezy comedy that dials in on
abortions, aging and various other sensitive
by Dennis Schwartz
Weitz ("Admission"/"Being Flynn"/"Little
Fockers") is writer-director of this breezy comedy
that dials in on abortions, aging and various other
sensitive feminist issues. The low-budget indie, set
in LA, is filled with poignant moments about women and
their specific issues. It surprises us with edgy
social-political truths when we least expect it.
75-year-old Lily Tomlin's star-powered
performance as the acerbic septuagenarian
granny radical feminist poet and retired
college professor, is a refreshing tonic for viewers.
After the death of her long-time girlfriend, Tomlin
neglects her writing out of self-pity. As the pic
opens, Tomlin breaks up with her much younger
girlfriend Judy Greer. At this time, Tomlin's
penniless 18-year-old granddaughter, Julia Garner,
pays her a surprise visit to ask for $600 to pay for
an abortion at a clinic later that afternoon. Julia
turns to granny because her workaholic mom,
Marcia Gay Harden, terminated her credit card and
granny is the only remaining person she can ask to
broke granny and her needy grand-daughter travel in
granny's vintage Dodge across LA searching for
acquaintances to give her the money, as we learn that
the free women’s health care clinic closed
to become an upscale cafe.
film's money scene has Tomlin and Julie smoking a
joint and having a stoner conversation that becomes
deeply emotional for the ladies. It's one of the
better insightful scenes I've seen in recent female
teen coming-of-age films.
Wolff delightfully plays the deadbeat character
who knocked-up Julia.
Elliott superbly plays Tomlin's old flame.
Coxa lays the ink on with relish playing a
transgender tattoo artist.
Cho has a wonderful turn as an uptight barista.
REVIEWED ON 9/19/2015 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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