Thursday, June 20, 2024


June Squibb is delightful in writer/director Josh Margolin's tale of senior citizen struggling to retain her independence after the death of her husband. Taken advantage of by a phone scam, and hearing the whispers of her children debating her health, Thelma decides to take matters into her own hands and recover her stolen money. Fred Hechinger plays Thelma's loving but distracted grandson Daniel who is closer to his grandmother than either of his easily and often hysterical parents (Parker Posey and Clark Gregg) and whose own fears about his inadequacy will play into the story as well.

Thelma wasn't the over-the-top comedy I was expecting of Thelma and various members of her generation she calls on for help or drafts into her cause (most notably Richard Roundtree). The plot, which could easily have steered into the wackier aspects of its script going more for farce, instead offers a more caring look and a message about family, age, and understanding that its okay to ask for help.

Based in part on Margolin's own grandmother, there are several scenes which ring true from a senior citizen's experience with computers to conversations in cars (one of which we see the actual footage of during the closing credits). Enough of Thelma herself rings true that the film doesn't become a cartoon with its more adventurous aspects and we remain aware just how easily this film could have become a tragedy. The foibles of Thelma and Daniel, while different, help explain their unique relationship while the adults are forced to mainly wait and contently worry about both of the other generations (which is probably for the best as they are the least interesting characters in the film).

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Thelma
  • IMDb: link

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