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Review - Grandma

By midlandsmovies, Jan 9 2016 03:45PM

Grandma (2015) Dir. Paul Weitz

Tell me it stars Lily Tomlin and you already have a movie I will happily watch. Tell me it stars Lily Tomlin as an acerbic grandma and I’m there with bells on.

Tomlin is said acerbic grandmother, Elle, who’s recently split from her girlfriend following the death of her wife of 38 years. She’s a brilliant writer but bitter, apart from when it comes to her 16-year-old granddaughter, Sage – played very well by the suitably stroppy Julia Garner.

Sage turns up first thing in the morning with the news that she’s pregnant and has booked an abortion at 5.45pm the two of them embark on a mission to find 600 dollars to fund it.

Having had some what of a breakdown, Elle has cut up her credit cards but can think of people who owe her money. In the car they go and we meet an array of people we see have faltered in and out of Elle’s life for varying reasons and we end up learning an awful lot about her and the relationship she has with her own daughter, Sage’s mother, whom she’s basically been estranged from for a number of years.

It has a refreshing approach to teenage sex and abortion with no sense of impending doom at the idea of a pregnant 16-year-old, but it’s not treated as a punch line either.

On the surface a movie about a grandmother going on a one-day quest to fund her granddaughter’s abortion behind her mother’s back could seem dark. However, I rightly anticipated this movie would tackle what’s often still considered a taboo subject in a warm and genuinely funny manner.

There’s a strong supporting cast from Judy Greer to Laverne Cox and they move the story along at a steady pace and nothing feels rushed. I was impressed with how tidy this movie was in a finely tuned 79 minutes.

It’s a charming look at female relationships and how fraught family can be even with the best intentions. Tomlin has perfect comedic timing and her sarcasm is rarely nasty or unwarranted, she has some frankly brilliant and bad ass moments in this film. This is a movie I would happily watch again and again and if you want a solid, well rounded story with a cast who clearly believed in it too then this is one for you.


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