Grandma (USA, 2015)

grandma-movie-poster-e1436825447179Directed by: Paul Weitz. Again, I only saw this one because I needed to cover it for a real publication, but as usual with such things, I’m glad I did see it, if only to broaden my palette, and expose myself to stuff that I would normally not seek out myself. Looking back at my real review, I’m pretty happy with it I guess (although I crammed in a lot of brackets and m-dashes and asides, as I like to do here without restraint, but which I try to button up a bit when I’m writing “professionally”), but I confess that when I finished the movie, I was daunted with the prospect of having 500 words worth of stuff to say about it. It simply didn’t make that much of an impression on me. Now, that being said, it’s not as if I thought it was a bad movie, and genuinely, as I mentioned in the review, this is loads better than the other “kinds” of movie this is—but it still reminded me of Juno, Little Miss Sunshine, probably a bunch of Michael Cera movies I deliberately avoided. You see what I mean? In the ranks of those examples, this is a particularly mature, respectable, adult, non-pandering example, but it’s still in the neighbourhood. And to most people, there’s nothing wrong with that maybe, but I find all of that sweetness masquerading as “edgy” because it has swears and a frank discussion of serious topics to mostly read like the filmic equivalent of Bryan Adams playing power chords through a really expensive distortion pedal, going through thousands of dollars of compression and EQ to pump out of a top quality sound system at a hockey arena in London, Ontario at $150/seat or something. It is what it is—and I love what it is—but it ain’t rock and roll, you know what I mean? But still, I meant every word I wrote: Lily Tomlin is the glue that holds this together, and as corny as it is, it’s pretty satisfying to see her knock out that teenage twerp at the beginning, the confrontation with Sam Elliot is super powerful and super believable, the dynamics between the grandmother, daughter and granddaughter are all very believable and human, and the whole resolution at the end feels very earned, not hacked together for conventional purposes. And again—I’ll be damned—a movie all about women, full of women, in what strikes me (as a man) as a very respectable and intelligent way. How about that.


2 responses to “Grandma (USA, 2015)

  1. Great review thanks. I agree that Lily Tomlin holds the film together. Drop in for a read of my review. I’ve added you to follow.

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