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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

GRANDMA

A Tribeca Film Festival 2015 Selection

By D.E. Levine

Comedienne Lily Tomlin brings anger and sorrow to her character Ellie Reid, a septugenerian poet/ author and grandmother.

When the film opens, the tart-tongued Ellie is breaking up with her much younger girlfriend Olivia (Judy Greer).  She's never fully recovered from the death of her longtime partner Violet, hasn't written much since her death and has financial problems.

When her teenage granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner) arrives with the news that she's pregnant and needs Ellie's help to get an abortion.

Sage is broke and her mother, Ellie's daughter Judy (Marcia Gay Harden) has confiscated her credit card.  Ellie just finished paying off all her credit card debt and cut up the credit cards to make a wind chime and keep from racking up more debt.

The only solution is for Ellie and Sage to "hit the road" in LA in Ellie's vintage Dodge Royal and go out seeking the necessary $600.

With an interesting family background (Ellie came out as a lesbian long before it became fashionable and Judy had Sage through an anonymous sperm donor), the third generation, Sage, now has to make her own decision about her body and her pregnancy.

As they make their rounds trying to raise the $600, Ellie wreaks havoc wherever they go. Finally visiting Karl (Sam Elliott) a man from Ellie's past with deep pockets who may provide a solution but who, after taking Ellie on a journey down memory lane, proves himself as vulnerable and as much in pain as Ellie, due to decisions they made years ago which are still impacting their life.

Not wanting to give spoilers regarding the end of the film, we suggest viewing the 78 minute film for the outstanding performances by its cast and the intriguing story and characters.