Grandma ★★★★

Oh, the joy of going into movies being almost completely clueless about them.

Lily Tomlin.
Paul Weitz.
Could be a cloying AS GOOD AS IT GETS clone with a crotchety old lady instead of a crotchety, condescending old man.

That's the list. So I get to discover a performance like Sam Elliott's, that completely stuns and thrills me – perhaps unlike any other performance of the year, honestly. The whole Elliott-Tomlin detente is its own self-sufficient drama. Three acts, mind you, in all of 10 minutes or so of screen time? There might be seven.

Lot of Sundance-y disaster potential here, and Weitz – aided by Elliott and a game Tomlin – swiftly sidesteps almost all of it by simply playing it straight, and grounding all the acrimony (and humor) in genuine anger and pain.

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