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Tribeca 2019: "Lucky Grandma"

And here is Jason Adams reporting from Tribeca again...

It's easy to recognize Grandma -- she's the one called Grandma. But if you're sitting about ten feet away from Chinatown NYC as I am as I type this review, it's even easier -- I could step out onto the street and see a dozen women who look just like Grandma. If I happened to walk just a little further away to the local movie theater, I wouldn't see a single Grandma, not one. And that is what makes Sasie Sealy's film Lucky Grandma feel so easily revolutionary. Grandmas are everywhere, but this is the one...

Grandma herself feels like she's The One too -- she gets a happy fortune-telling and heads off on the bus to gamble her good luck towards a brighter future. One brighter than her son, ensconced as he is in suburban anonymity with the wife and kids, wants for her, which is to hole up there and just grow properly old and blandly respectable. Grandma, a cigarette between every finger and behind every ear, is too feisty for all that just yet, and so she dives into an adventure, finding herself right quick on the run from gangsters, rolling in dead bodies and stolen dough.

Lucky Grandma owes big debts to the broad high-concept comedies of the 80s and 90s, things like Stop or My Mom Will Shoot or Turner & Hooch, where there's always a diabolical gangster around every corner waiting for the colorful main character to SNAFU themselves up. But, really, bless it for that. It's an easy ride, goofy and fun, with a marvelously entertaining performance of high-wire sourness from Tsai Chin, who elevates its high-concept to an art-form. I'm down to score my ticket and big tub of popcorn to Lucky Grandma II: Luckier Grandma right this minute for another wacky adventure with this one.

Lucky Grandma plays tomorrow at Tribeca

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Reader Comments (1)

Wow! Love that Tsai Chen is still going strong. However, I always hear her Auntie Lindo saying “Waverly” in a warning tone whenever I see her.

May 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJames from Ames

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