Grandma ★★★★

A short and snappy indie drama from writer/director Paul Weitz that doesn't waste a beat. Lily Tomlin stars as Elle, a stubborn women with an acerbic tongue who has just broken up with her girlfriend and showing the early signs of a breakdown. When teenage granddaughter Sage (Julie Garner), appears on her doorstep and ask's to borrow 630 bucks so that she can have an abortion before the end of the day. It gives Elle, who only has 43 bucks to her name after cutting up all her credit cards, something to focus her energies on and the pair set off in Elle's vintage Dodge Royal to visit a series of old friends and lovers, digging up ghosts from the past and closing doors on some long forgotten relationships.
This works as a sort of three quarter life crisis movie, a cross generational road trip and a poignant comedy/drama, it wonderfully scripted with the dialogue feeling very natural and features some great supporting turns from the likes of Marcia Gay Harden, Sam Elliott and Judy Greer but the films real strength is the performance of the two leads. Tomlin is the star of the show with a performance full of anger, vulnerability and razor sharp wit, her great comic timing is evident throughout as she spars with the various characters that come in and out of the film. Julie Garner has the less showy role, she's more of an observer but proves herself to be an actress to keep an eye on, her porcelain skin gives her a real timeless quality and her reactions to her Grandma's occasionally over the top behaviour add an extra layer to the film.
Overall, this is low budget, indie filmmaking at it's finest, a simple story full of funny and bittersweet moments that's well written, full of heart and features a cast at the top of their game, a film well worth seeing.

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