Sundance closing-night film, 'Grandma' showcases Lily Tomlin

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Posted: Jan 30, 2015 11:20 PM
Sundance closing-night film, 'Grandma' showcases Lily Tomlin

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Writer-director Paul Weitz knew what he was after when he was writing "Grandma," the official closing-night selection at the Sundance Film Festival.

"I just wanted to see a movie where (Lily Tomlin) was in every scene," he said after the film's premiere Friday. "So I wrote it."

Tomlin is the titular grandmother in this heartfelt comedy. A professor and onetime well-known poet, she becomes bitter and ornery after her partner of 38 years dies. Though judging by the stream of profanity she uses throughout the film, one presumes she may have already been on the ornery side.

"The script was really blue," Weitz said. "Lily was like, 'Does she have to swear so much?' Then on set — no problem."

Tomlin's character rediscovers her softer side when her granddaughter, unexpectedly pregnant while in high school, comes to her for help. The two women embark on a mission to find funds for the teenager, connecting with various people from their past along the way. Among them are characters played by Marcia Gay Harden and Sam Elliott. John Cho and Laverne Cox play smaller roles.

Sony Pictures Classics picked up distribution rights to the film earlier this week, though no release date has been announced.

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Contact Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy