Grandma – Movie Review

Category: Movies

Grandma Lily TomlinLily Tomlin stars in Grandma, a film about familial relationships and secrets. The film takes place in a single day as the relationships play out with some heartfelt scenes.


Tomlin is Elle, who that morning broke up with her girlfriend. Elle’s partner passed away and she is still mourning that loss. Sage (Julia Garner) shows up at her grandmother’s house with a request. Sage needs some money for an abortion. Elle is completely broke so the two go off to collect the needed funds.


As Sage and Elle visit Elle’s friends and Sage’s former boyfriend, the two learn more about each other and the experience brings them closer. Both women are afraid to bring the issue to Elle’s daughter and Sage’s mother Judy (Marcia Gay Harden), a hard-nosed businesswoman with little compassion.


Sam Elliott plays Karl, one of Elle’s friends from the past to whom she turns for the money. Their backstory is interesting and something that plays an important part of the film.


Filmmaker Paul Weitz said about the movie, “The film is female driven.” He adds, “It’s unlikely that most people don’t at least know someone who has faced the question of whether or not to end an unintended pregnancy. The film doesn’t make light of the issue. It puts it in the context of the characters, who all have their own perspectives towards the issue.”


In the film, the final decision is Sage’s and hers alone. No one influences her. She confronts both sides of the issue and makes her personal choice. It is a drama with comedy interspersed, in the form of an amazing performance by Tomlin.


As Weitz said, “The film is largely about moving on from loss through wit and empathy and the ability to say ‘screw you.’”


The message I got from the movie is simple. It is that we all have difficult issues to deal with in our lives. We each know how we alone should deal with them. We have life, love, and loss. It is up to us to make our personal choices to live our lives in the way we need to do so. While abortion is the catalyst for the story, it is tackled in a sensitive way and shows that humanity is not in the “dark ages.” It’s a quirky film, which left me feeling content.


Grandma is rated R for language and some drug use. It opens August 21, 2015.



About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment business for 20 years. She also writes about technology and has been a travel writer for the past 12 years. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

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