Choice. As human beings we have the power to choose. A result of choice is also consequence. One choice in life, family, can result in consequence. It is how we choose to deal with family that determines the outcome. But, we cannot choose is family.
Paul Weitz’s Grandma is a comedic look at life, family, choices and consequences. The ever-superb Lily Tomlin stars as Elie Reid, a curmudgeon and scholastic poet, whose four month relationship with Olivia (Judy Greer) is on the down and out when her granddaughter, Sage (Julia Garner) seeks out her help to get an abortion while both try to avoid past relationships, including daughter/mother Judy (Marcia Gay Harden) and a former flame (Sam Elliott).
The story by Weitz is tender and comedic. Onscreen relationships between Tomlin and Garner are priceless, while Harden’s tough exterior is dynamite next to Tomlin. All three have the heart, depth and soul to convincingly play three generations of family. But they all take their lickings in stride, bringing them together to heal.
Elie’s surroundings fell like they have a purpose where nothing seems out of place yet nothing seems like it belongs either. Tobias Datum’s cinematography, Cindy Chao and Michele Yu’s production design, Brittany Ruiz’s set decoration and Molly Grundman’s costume design all deftly convey that disjointed sense.
Joel P. West’s score is supported by several pop and rap tracks, strongly rounding out Elie’s outlook on life and explain her reactions.
Some may find the subject matter hard to swallow because of their own moral convictions. Weitz’s story and performances by the key actors convey feelings on both sides of the issues, but ultimately pay respect to the choices that we each have in this world and sometimes, the consequences of those choices. Grandma is highly recommended.