What if for one day you had luck on your side? Set in New York’s Chinatown, Lucky Grandma (2019) is the tale of an 80-year-old widow (Tsai Chin) who – after hearing just that from her trusted fortune teller – plans a trip to a casino to gamble all of her savings. Things don’t go to plan, however, and she quickly finds herself entangled in the wrongdoings of two rival gangs.
A far cry from your stereotypical frail old lady, our protagonist is a chainsmoking octogenarian with attitude. As sharp as she is stubborn, she chooses not to give in to the bullying gangsters, propelling herself further into trouble.
Lucky Grandma is a darkly comic caper full of action and unexpected adventure. Director Sasie Sealy presents a collection of characters that are as vibrant as the Chinatown in which they reside, whilst turning the spotlight on a hero that is rarely represented in cinema.
But it’s Tsai Chin that truly makes the film, with her delightfully subtle performance as the cantankerous grandma. Allowing only the slightest glimpses of emotion through an otherwise stony-faced expression, she creates a character that is abrasive yet relatable, and incredibly fun to watch.
If you’re a fan of wild tales and eccentric characters, then this is a gamble that is sure to pay off.
Lucky Grandma is showing from Thursday 8th to Wednesday 14th October at Luna Leederville. Visit their website for session times and tickets.