Grandma isn’t your typical road movie. It begins with 18-year-old Sage (rising star Julia Garner) turning up on the doorstep of her prickly, sharp-tongued grandmother, feminist poet Elle (Lily Tomlin), to ask for $630 to pay for an abortion. Trouble is, Elle is strapped for cash after paying off medical bills racked up by her late partner, who has recently succumbed to a terminal illness, so the pair get behind the wheel and set off on a fund-raising mission. Along the way, Elle is forced to confront a few painful ghosts from her past.
What follows is quietly touching without ever becoming sentimental, and often very, very funny. It also features one of 2015’s most unlikely fight scenes when Tomlin’s malevolent grandma tries to beat up the teenage oik who got her granddaughter pregnant. The veteran actress, who currently stars opposite Jane Fonda in hit Netflix series Grace And Frankie, is rightly attracting Oscar buzz for her very believable performance as the testy, troublemaking matriarch. In this exclusive clip, Elle explains why a former partner has called her a “writer in residence” as an insult, before explaining to her granddaughter why it’s “bullshit” when girls are referred to as “bitch”, “slut” or “ho”.
Grandma opens in UK cinemas this Friday (December 11)