In the heart of Chinatown, New York, an ornery, chain-smoking, newly widowed 80-year-old grandma (Tsai Chin) is eager to live life as an independent woman, despite the worry of her family. When a local fortune teller (Wai Ching Ho ) predicts a most auspicious day in her future, Grandma decides to head to the casino and goes all in, only to land herself on the wrong side of luck-suddenly attracting the attention of some local gangsters. Desperate to protect herself, Grandma employs the services of a bodyguard (Corey Ha) from a rival gang and soon finds herself in the middle of a Chinatown gang war.Written by
Tribeca Film Festival
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Comedy? Drama? Either way it didn't do much for me
"Lucky Grandma" (2019 release; 87 min.) brings the story of Grandma. As the movie opens, we are in Chinatown, New York, and Grandma is having her fortune told. "You lucky day is coming on October 28", the fortune teller says. On that day, Grandma empties her bank account savings (all of $1,700) and heads out of town to a casino. On the return bus trip, the guy sitting next to her dies of a heart attack, and Grandma notices his bag is full of cash, mostly $100 bills. She decides to run off with it, but it isn't long before she is visited by Chinese mobsters... At this point 12 are less than 15 min. into the movie but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is the feature length debut of writer-director Sasie Sealy. Here she brings the story of a chain-smoking and fiercely independent ol' ladie who unexpectedly gets mixed up in Chinese mobsters fighting over money. The movie is marketed as a "comedy drama". Let me just tell you this: there is zero dram, I mean none. Yes there is some comedy, as a "grandma" gets unwillingly mixed up in the Chinese underbelly of New York, and yes, the theater audience I saw this with laughed out loud on some occasions. I must admit it didn't do much for me either way. I just never got into this film, for whatever reason. The bright spot is of course Tsai Chin, in the role of Grandma. Best known for her role in "The Joy Luck Club"
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