Saturday, March 5, 2016
Written & Directed By: Paul Weitz
Cinematography By: Tobias Datum
Editor: Jon Corn
Cast: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Judy Greer, Marcia Gay Harden, John Cho, Elizabeth Pena, Colleen Camp, Nat Wolff, Don McManus, Laverne Cox, Sam Elliott, Sarah Burns, Lauren Tom, Judy Geeson
Lily Tomlin stars as Elle who has just gotten through breaking up with her girlfriend when Elle's granddaughter Sage unexpectedly shows up needing $600 bucks before sundown. Temporarily broke, Grandma Elle and Sage spend the day trying to get their hands on the cash as their unannounced visits to old friends and flames end up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets.
The film's budget was $600,000. Paul Weitz wrote the role specifically for Lily Tomlin.
This film seems more a throwback to the indie movies of the 90's where you would get a star to play the title role of more of an anti-heroic character who is like able and funny in a grumpy way and by the end still be the same and either we learn why thus are the way they are or the character lightens up a bit along the way. While allowing the film to be heartwarming and somewhat more of a crowd pleaser.
Well in this film the character is played by lily Tomlin and as usual for the actor in these roles, Quite well. As her character is cynical, intelligent and funny. She gets all the best lines and as the film goes along we get to learn not only more about her, but the generations of her family that she interacts with her daughter and obviously her granddaughter.
The film offers few shocks, though constantly stays interesting. Though it's quirkiness at times can be annoying. The film is under 90 minutes so it goes quickly and seems to seek to serve every member of the audience. As throughout the film Tomlin and her granddaughter are on a trek or odyssey that has them run into characters from their past. While some are more comedic. Like meeting the boy who got her granddaughter pregnant. And running into her ex at her job. There are some that are more dramatic and cut to the core. Her meeting with Sam Elliot, her reunion with her daughter and seeing her ex a second time.
The film is penetrating and ends up more emotional then expected. Though I am not surprised as it is written and directed by Paul Weitz who was behind the films ADMISSION and ABOUT A BOY whose films always seem to balance the comedic absurdity and the depth frantic capabilities of modern life. Though usually in a more quirky and happy way.
Not bad for a guy who began his career with the Teen sex comedy AMERICAN PIE.
This is one of the best performances I have seen lily Tomlin in I would say a while, but truly ever. This film to me opened my eyes to her skill and talent more then any of her previous film roles. As like Martin short she has always been a talent I recognized and respected, but never can say I was a huge fan or was ever amazed by. Here she earns all the accolades. Especially as she does it what looks like so simply and effortlessly.
It also seems like a film more or less written around her.
Maybe as she seems to be more open in fact but maybe have the same attitude. Some critics didn't see it as too much acting, but I could easily see her have gotten a best actress nomination. Though as the film is slight and has a feeling of been there done that. It didn't get the notice it deserved. As it is a small film and might smell like Oscar bait to some.
Though this little quirky film to me comes across with more heart then others of it's kind