With The Prof away, and with an early evening to fill, I took myself off to the cinema.
There were only two other customers in the theatre ( just the way I like it) so I could settle down to watch the fairly unlikely but passable comedy/drama " Grandma"
In Grandma, old Trouper Lily Tomlin gives the title role some welly. She plays Elle Reid, an acerbic, feminist, lesbian writer who has seen better days. She is estranged from her daughter ( Marcia Gay Harden) , has just finished with her latest girlfriend ( Judy Greer) and has not gotten over the death of her long term partner Violet but steps up to the plate when her teenage grandaughter (Julia Gardner) turns up needing money for an abortion.
The gist of the story is somewhat tenuous as it involves Tomlin and Gardner traipsing around Los Angeles bumming money from a selection of Elle's old friends. Of course being a foul mouthed old terrier, she causes more problems than she can solve but eventually a kind of peace is forged between grandmother, daughter and grandaughter
It's an interesting film, for given it's brief running time ( under 100 minutes) it is able to cram in a whole lot of backstory between the characters, which includes a rather surprising turn by old cowboy Sam Elliot, who gives a rather moving performance as Elle's first husband, a man who never got over the break up with a lesbian he was clearly very much in lovewith
The film has plenty to say about love, death and relationships but it is the study of Elle, a woman who has battled with everything and with everyone during a militant, cause driven life which makes for an interesting twist. Tomlin's Elle is a difficult and at times unlikable woman. She pours coffee on the floor of a coffee shop for no good reason except she didn't like being told off for her explicit mouth then can turn on a kind of vulnerable charm when faced with the parents of her ex girlfriend it would be interesting to know just how much of the actress is in the character.
Though not a belly laugh movie, Grandma is amusing and worth seeing for Tomlin's sock-it-to-ya performance alone.
It always has surprised me just how few movies Tomlin has actually made.....I guess Hollywood just didn't know what to do with her.