Grandma Could Get Lily Tomlin Her First Oscar
The 75-year-old should get her face on the $20, quips AO Scott
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2015 10:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – Just because Grandma is the title character doesn't mean you're in for a sappy lovefest. Lily Tomlin plays Elle, an elderly feminist who gets hit with a bomb at 9am: Sage, her teenage granddaughter, is pregnant and needs her help. Here's what critics are saying about Grandma:

  • This is "a Lily Tomlin tour de force," writes Peter Travers at Rolling Stone. "The film, a scrappy delight, is a no-bull hunt for 'a reasonably priced abortion,'" joining Elle's world with that of the baby daddy, her granddaughter's mom (an impressive Marcia Gay Harden), and a former love, Karl. "Tomlin, the sorceress, leaves you dazzled and devastated." This one might win Tomlin her first Oscar, Travers says.
  • "One thing that is absolutely right with the world is the existence of Grandma, Paul Weitz's wry and insightful movie about an eventful day in the life of Elle and her granddaughter," writes AO Scott at the New York Times. "There is much to praise about this sweet, smart comedy of intergenerational conflict and solidarity," but its "wonder ... can be summed up in two words: Lily Tomlin." His final thought: "Someone should start a petition to put her face on the $20 bill."

  • The scrappy grandma might be a cliché, but this "artful, funny, endlessly surprising" film "finds the human side of the cussin' granny character, and turns serious issues and sappy plot developments into a playful, only mildly melancholy romp," writes Tasha Robinson at AV Club. The scene with Tomlin and Sam Elliott as Karl "is worth the price of admission on its own; he'd steal the movie if it wasn’t so firmly in her hands."
  • Mary Pols at Time writes Grandma is "a tender mercy about a woman coming to terms with some of her mistakes—and successes—over the course of one day." It's "slender, plot-wise, and Weitz allows a few scenes to get too broad," but "many [scenes] charm with deadpan humor (like Elle's subtle double take when Sage asks if The Feminine Mystique has anything to do with X-Men) or vibrate with a vivid awkwardness." Pols adds, "at 75, Tomlin remains the coolest."