Film - Grandma


With the film now out on DVD, here's a reminder of what Ren Zelen thought when she watched it at BFI London Film Festival last October...

Director/screenwriter: Paul Weitz
Starring: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Judy Greer, Sam Eliot.

Elle (Lily Tomlin) is an aged, sharp-tongued poet and academic who has seen and done it all. While Elle is still reeling from the death of her long-term partner and a break-up with a much younger girlfriend, her 18-year-old granddaughter turns up out of the blue and pleads for her help. The pair embark on a road trip through Los Angeles during which Elle must confront the past and make decisions about the future.

Director Paul Weitz (About A Boy) has crafted an unusual road movie providing hard-hitting insights delivered with a delicate touch tinged with humour. Although it has an excellent supporting cast who give charming performances, this is really Tomlin’s film. She creates Elle as an intriguing and nuanced character, balancing the portrayal of an eccentric, hard-nosed septuagenarian with the subtle undertones of a woman whose no-nonsense exterior and emotional armour can’t quite protect a soft core battered by regret and loss. Tomlin is an underrated talent whose long career has embraced high comedy often tinged with tragedy. It’s a confident performance tempered by a lifetime of experience.

Tomlin knows this role.

Copyright R.H. Zelen – ©RenZelen 2015 All rights reserved.

Image - BFI.

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