Judy Greer

Watch Lily Tomlin Kick Ass in the First Trailer for ‘Grandma’

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Since its debut at Sundance in January, Paul Weitz’s comedy/drama Grandma has been wowing festival audiences and critics (including this one), thanks to its low-key charm, warm vibe, and first rate cast, which includes Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Laverne Cox, Sam Elliot, Judy Greer, and Lily Tomlin in the title role. The story of a desperate young woman (Gardner) — who goes to her grandmother to help pay for her abortion — turns into a journey through the older woman’s past, and the kind of shambling character piece that Hal Ashby or Paul Mazursky might’ve directed back in the ‘70s (when we first met Ms. Tomlin).
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Lily Tomlin Shines in the Feisty, Charming ‘Grandma’

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“I told her, ‘I wrote something for you,’ and she lost her appetite immediately.” And that, according to writer/director Paul Weitz, is how he introduced Lily Tomlin to Grandma, which made its New York premiere last night in the Spotlight section of the Tribeca Film Festival. The film, which co-stars Julia Gardner, Marcia Gay Harden, Laverne Cox, Sam Elliot, and Judy Greer, was one of the biggest crowd-pleasers of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Sony Pictures Classics picked it up for release later this year, with talk of an Oscar campaign for Tomlin — and for good reason. She’s dynamite in it.
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The Best and Worst of the 2015 SXSW Film Festival

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The SXSW Film Festival will continue through the weekend (albeit mostly with repeat screenings and music-related films, pegged to the concurrent music fest), but your correspondent has returned from Austin, with a belly full of BBQ and a head full of leftover images and snatches of dialogue from the 21 narrative and documentary films I took in over my week in Texas. Here are a few thoughts on each, along with the best and worst films I saw there.
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10 SXSW 2015 Movies We Can’t Wait to See

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Hold my calls, I’ll be in Austin. Yes, tomorrow marks the start of the 2015 SXSW Film Festival, one of the most purely enjoyable weeks of the movie year (and, no small side plus, a welcome blast of sunshine after a particularly miserable winter). With a remarkable 145 features in this year’s fest — from a record 2,385 submissions — there’s no way to even come close to seeing everything that looks interesting, or striking, or fun. But here are a few of the movies we’re looking forward to seeing, either in Austin or soon thereafter.
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Jason Reitman Is Here to Save All You ‘Men, Women & Children’ From Your Evil Screens

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The first important image of Jason Reitman’s Men, Women & Children is for his production company, Right of Way Films — a logo of a man with a rolling suitcase in front of a bank of windows. It recalls, of course, his 2009 Best Picture nominee Up in the Air,and I’m gonna go ahead and put this out there: reminding everyone of the greatness you’re capable of is probably not a great idea when you’re on a losing streak. Following last year’s bizarrely tone-deaf adaptation of Joyce Maynard’s Labor Day, Reitman’s latest is a peculiarly alarmist ensemble piece about how, in spite of our copious technology, we’re all just so disconnected, man. When Reitman burst on the scene with Thank You for Smoking back in 2005, he seemed bent on making another Dr. Strangelove; based on his new picture, he’s apparently spent those years harboring the desire to make another Crash.
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FX’s ‘Married’ and ‘You’re the Worst’ Hilariously Demolish Romantic Comedy Conventions

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Last fall, I found myself lamenting, with other TV obsessives, how “nice” sitcoms had gotten. These conversations usually touched on the optimism of Parks and Recreation (a show I love but sometimes find overwhelming) or the glut of new family sitcoms — The Goldbergs, The Michael J. Fox Show, Trophy Wife, Sean Saves The World — about people who love each other dearly, bicker a bit, and hug at the end. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing (I adored Trophy Wife); when done well, like The Middle, these shows can be sweet and funny. It’s likely that the sheer volume of similar shows is what made us so cynical — and that’s also what makes FX’s two new sitcoms, Married and You’re the Worst, so appealing.
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