Friday, May 22, 2020

Lucky Grandma / 幸運的奶奶 - Movie Review

The Movie: Lucky Grandma / 幸運的奶奶

The Director: Sasie Sealy

The Cast: Tsai Chin, Hsiao-Yuan Ha, Michael Tow, Yan Xi, Wai Ching Ho, Eddie Yu, Mason Yam, Kristen Hung, Lyman Chen

The Story: Set in New York City's Chinatown, an ornery, chain-smoking Chinese grandma goes all in at the casino, landing herself on the wrong side of luck - and in the middle of a gang war.

The Review:
Okay, so this is a really fun movie. I mean who hasn't wanted to see a grumpy Chinese grandma get mixed up in some Chinatown gangster stuff. Tsai Chin is kind of fantastic in the lead role and I imagine she had a lot of fun playing the role. What's most interesting about Chin's performance is how she's not just an old mad woman for the sake of being one, there's a lot of depth to the character and she makes you understand where she's coming from. It's pretty clear that she's lived a life and can handle herself and you also see a big heart hiding behind all of the gruff and cigarette smoke.

I was surprised to see that this is director Sasie Sealy's first film as she expertly creates a style and tone to the film that gives the impression she's been doing making movies for a while. I love the sassy nature of the story which is accentuated by a funky soundtrack that has just as much swagger as Nai Nai (grandma) does. Sealy keeps things rom getting dark by injecting comedy in just the right spots and, while there is some violence, it's pretty toned down as well to fit the story.

One thing that would have been interesting to see more of is the unlikely friendship between Grandma and Big Pong, a young man who she hires to be her bodyguard. That being said, I feel like the story is very well put together, is a lot of fun, and we might now have the most bad ass cinematic Nai Nai ever put on screen.

Thanks to Good Deed Entertainment & Kino Lorber's efforts to bring movies to people at home while theaters are shut down, you now have a perfect opportunity to watch Lucky Grandma. The Kino Marquee virtual cinema allows you to rent and watch a movie at home with shared revenue going to a local independent theater of your choosing. Here in Seattle, you can choose to support the Grand Illusion as the theater you want to support with available virtual screenings beginning on May 22nd. Another location in the Pacific Northwest is the Pickford Film Center in Bellingham. What a great way to help keep these theaters alive while they await an opportunity to reopen their doors.

Image may contain: text that says 'THE GRAND ILLUSION'

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