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Grandmother (2009)
"Lola" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  5 May 2010 (France)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 555 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 42 critic

Two elderly women bear the consequences of a crime involving their respective grandsons. One is the victim, the other is the suspect. Both weak and poor, they laboriously solicit money in ... See full summary »


(as Brillante Ma. Mendoza)


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Title: Grandmother (2009)

Grandmother (2009) on IMDb 7.3/10

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17 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Anita Linda ...
Lola Sepa
Rustica Carpio ...
Lola Puring
Tanya Gomez ...
Jhong Hilario ...
Ketchup Eusebio ...
Benjie Filomeno ...
Bobby Jerome Go ...
Jay Jay
Geraldine Villamil ...
Nico Nullan ...
Hope Matriano ...
Tim Yap ...
TV Game Host
Earl Zanorio ...
Game Show Contestant
Catherine Cornell ...
Snatcher Victim
Jojit Lorenzo ...
Security Guard
Tess Antonio ...
Factory Office Secretary


Two elderly women bear the consequences of a crime involving their respective grandsons. One is the victim, the other is the suspect. Both weak and poor, they laboriously solicit money in the midst of a storm, one for the victim's burial, the other for the suspect's bail bond. Written by Pusan International Film Festival

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5 May 2010 (France)  »

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Lola  »

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User Reviews

Two fighting grannies
12 July 2010 | by (Montigny-lès-Metz, France) – See all my reviews

Two years ago I happened to see 'Serbis' and, although the movie was not uninteresting, I swore to myself I would never go and see another one signed by Brillante Mendoza, its writer-director. For two reasons: first on account of the Filipino helmer's taste for grime and graphic dirty sex, which I do not share; second because he shamelessly indulged in the excesses of "Cinéma Vérité", scrupulously filming the slightest step taken and movement made by his characters to your heart's limit (hence those endless walks through never-ending corridors and up or down interminable staircases), relentlessly taping all the sounds and noises of an overcrowded town without any re-recording (hence the permanent headache I suffered from while viewing this film).

And yet, I went to see 'Lola' (Grandmother). For two reasons as well: first on account of an appealing trailer; second because I let myself be influenced by the critics who all said that Mendoza had toned down his radicality and managed to make a warmer work than usual. A bit worried before the show, I soon realized that I had been well inspired not to stick to my principles.

Agreed, there are still a few steps too many climbed and corridors walked through but much less than in 'Serbis' and what made the former film simply bearable, the sympathy with the (many) destitute of Mendoza's native country, untarnished by vérité style excesses, make 'Lola' really worth seeing.

Another superiority of the second film over the former one is its brilliant script, based on a wonderful parallel: two grandmothers (lolas in Filipino) move heaven and earth to find money, Lola Sepa (awesome Anita Linda in her ... 200th role!) to offer her murdered grandson's a decent burial, and Lola Carpin (Rustica Carpio, perfect as well) to bail her grandson out of jail). Told separately, each of these two stories could have been interesting but the real plus is that they are intertwined, echoing and enriching each other with one old woman being the grandmother of the victim while the other is grandmother of his murderer. First separated by an understandable hostility, they will slowly get close to each other, united by their common fight for survival, family and dignity.

Making good use of the natural locations, particularly the permanently flooded area of Malabon, this nicely scripted naturalistic film, proves moving without being maudlin. All in all, 'Lola' gives high hopes concerning Brillante Mendoza's films to come.

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