We live in a materialistic society. On a daily basis we’re constantly reminded how little we have and how much better our lives would be if we had more. Hard work and effort will get the average person somewhere but it’s vastly unlikely to make them well-off. Let alone rich. Given the disparity between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ it’s tempting to take short-cuts. In Lucky Grandma, one woman takes a gamble she’ll never forget.

Grandma Wong (Tsai Chin) is an acerbic and cantankerous member of the Chinese community in New York. In response to her son suggesting she should move in with his family, Grandma withdraws all her savings and gambles on winning big. Despite losing everything, her luck changes on the coach trip back. However, stealing money from the mob is never going to end well.

Lucky Grandma is a wonderfully curmudgeonly tale of one woman’s attempt to outfox the mafia. Sasie Sealy’s feature debut is comedic gem which plays up Grandma’s situation for laughs whilst maintianing a soft centre. Tsai Chin is a tsunami on screen. Family and empathy really aren’t her strong suits, but in the end her heart is in the right place. Lucky Grandma is great fun. A film with fights, frights and frantic frolics.  

Luck Grandma screens again at London Film Festival on 6,10 & 13 October.