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3.3
247 Ratings

Grandma

Directed by Paul Weitz
United States, 2015
Comedy

Synopsis

Self-described misanthrope Elle Reid has her protective bubble burst when her 18-year-old granddaughter, Sage, shows up needing help. The two of them go on a day-long journey that causes Elle to come to terms with her past and Sage to confront her future.

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Grandma Directed by Paul Weitz

Awards & Festivals

National Board of Review

2015 | Winner: Top Ten Independent Films

Golden Globes (USA)

2016 | Nominee: Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical

Chicago Film Critics Association Awards

2015 | Nominee: Best Supporting Actor

It’s not often we see a film that portrays a 75 year old as multifaceted, and gives her zingers (the way Tomlin delivers the line, “She’s already pregnant!” when a guy looks at her granddaughter is one of the film’s best moments), so Grandma is refreshing in that record. While it is hindered by a number of precious indie trappings, it manages to be an overall poignant film, with two memorable performances at its core.
December 10, 2015
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An early scene in which Elle feuds with a coffee shop attendant (John Cho) is badly misjudged, and paints the character as a one-note comedy curmudgeon that’s grimly reminiscent of Fockers-period De Niro. It’s testament to Tomlin’s prowess as a performer, and also her plausible rapport with Garner, that the film recovers as quickly as it does. Grandma may not always know best, but it’s nearly always funny and absorbing, and there are moments of emotional perspicacity to make you gulp.
December 10, 2015
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Like all Weitz’s films, Grandma is nothing much of note on a technical level, shot with inelegant handheld camerawork. Tomlin’s character is a slightly more sophisticated variant of the tired ‘bad grandma’ trope introduced, and the film inevitably builds to a series of soft-focus reconciliations, capped with maudlin singer-songwriter balladry. Still, Grandma’s rhetorical clarity and unambiguous politics are heartening and bracing, and more moving than the narrative proper.
November 27, 2015

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