Writer and director Paul Weitz stops by to talk about his new film Grandma. In cinemas now.
Director: Paul Weitz.
Starring: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Sam Elliott. USA 2015. 79 mins.
This absorbing and quirky road movie stars a superbly on-form Lily Tomlin (Nashville, Tea With Mussolini) as poet Elle. She hasn’t written much since the death of her long-term partner, Violet, and she’s in the midst of a break-up with a short-term replacement.
Elle’s pregnant teenage granddaughter, Sage (Garner), asks her to help chase up $600 to pay for an abortion. Driving round in Elle’s ’55 Dodge Royale, the pair confront a motley cast of characters including Sage’s overbearing mother (Marcia Gay Harden), the feckless father of her unborn child (Nat Wolff) and a mystery man from Elle’s distant past (Elliott). Writer-director Paul Weitz (About A Boy) skilfully combines witty humour and poignancy.
The performances are terrific, with Tomlin reminding us of her peerless talent for acerbic put-downs that are often underpinned by considerable emotional complexity.