Thelma Movie Review

Thelma movie poster

Thelma, the Seattle International Film Festival’s opening film, is an entertaining crowd pleaser, an opportunity for June Squibb to flex her geriatric muscles (or at least awkwardly roll over mattresses) while tracking down the bad guys who tricked her out of $10,000.

Squibb plays the title character, an elderly woman who still lives alone despite her family’s concerns. After she falls for a scam, she teams up with an old friend (Richard Roundtree) to retrieve her money while evading her daughter (Parker Posey), son-in-law (Clark Gregg) and grandson (Fred Hechinger).

Written and directed by first-timer Josh Margolin, who based the movie on his 91-year-old grandma, Thelma is a funny, relatable little picture for anyone who is old, or in my case has an elderly person in their lives. The veracious Squibb is a true delight, capturing the pitfalls and humor of old age. Margolin has a keen eye for all the silly (but also frustrating) aspects of getting old, and Thelma plays into that awareness to utmost effect.

The cast is great, too. While Posey and Gregg aren’t given a lot to do, the chemistry between Squibb and Hechinger adds a level of zest to the whole affair. The late Richard Roundtree is also a highlight, giving a charming performance.

Thelma may not be a groundbreaking movie, but that’s OK. Best watched with family and ideally grandparents, it’ll be sure to make you chuckle fairly consistently, even when the title character gets into real danger.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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