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Lily Tomlin stars as Elle who has just gotten through breaking up with her girlfriend when Elle's granddaughter Sage unexpectedly shows up needing $600 bucks before sundown. Temporarily broke, Grandma Elle and Sage spend the day trying to get their hands on the cash as their unannounced visits to old friends and flames end up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets.
I didn't expect too much from the film Grandma, but it ended up being quite a pleasant surprise. Its story is simple and it barely covers one day in the life of the characters, but it works as an adequate frame of a genuine character study, in which even the most trivial events (like buying a coffee or taking a taxi) reveal new aspects and hidden emotions from the characters. I suppose that the tragicomic adventures from an irascible grandma and her granddaughter touring a city looking for money (500 dollars) might not seem particularly attractive material for many spectators, but as I previously said, the point of the movie is gradually drawing the endearing relationship both of them develop with each other, also extending to the granddaughter's mother, perfectly played by Marcia Gay Harden. I would also like to mention the solid works from Elizabeth Peña in her last performance; and Judy Greer, one of my favorite actresses, finally playing a role which takes advantage of her huge talent. Lily Tomlin seems to improve with the age (something which is already a big compliment), facing mature roles with dignity and without losing a pinch of the intensity and energy which have always distinguished her, while Julia Garner also makes an excellent work as the granddaughter while having a perfect chemistry with Tomlin. In conclusion, Grandma is a "small" movie, made with very little money (supposedly 600,000 dollars) and which received minimum publicity, but I enjoyed it pretty much, and I recommend it as a solid and satisfactory film.
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