GRANDMA

Pasatiempo - - MOVING IMAGES -

Lily Tom­lin is a pow­er­house in this sweet, funny, thought­ful re­la­tion­ship movie writ­ten and di­rected by Paul Weitz (About a Boy). When her grand­daugh­ter Sage (Ju­lia Garner) turns up need­ing an abor­tion, Elle (Tom­lin) springs into ac­tion as the two visit a num­ber of Elle’s friends and ac­quain­tances try­ing to bor­row the money. There’s ter­rific sup­port from Mar­cia Gay Har­den as Elle’s daugh­ter and Sage’s mother, and from Sam El­liott, who takes us well be­yond that lov­able growl of a voice to un­cover lay­ers and depths of char­ac­ter he’s sel­dom called upon to tap. Grandma suf­fers a few awk­ward mo­ments, but for the most part it stays sharp. Weitz does in­ter­est­ing things with old movie con­ven­tions about les­bian re­la­tion­ships and abor­tion, weav­ing them into a story that bor­rows from tried-and-true fa­mil­iar for­mats — it’s a bit of a road movie, a bit of a buddy movie — and then qui­etly goes its own way. Rated R. 79 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown.

(Jonathan Richards)

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