lucky grandma trailer

A grandma gets caught in a Chinatown gang war after stumbling on a bag full of money. It sounds like the beginning of a joke, or the premise of an unexpectedly thrilling neo-noir directed by Sasie Sealy. Thankfully, Lucky Grandma is the latter, though this heist movie is not without laughs. Tsai Chin stars as the recently widowed grandma, who believes she’s on a lucky streak when a bag of money literally falls in her lap. But it’s just the beginning of her troubles. Watch the Lucky Grandma trailer below.

Lucky Grandma Trailer

Chin (The Joy Luck Club) stars as a penniless widow who is at the end of her rope when she loses big at a casino, only for a bag of money to fall in her lap. But the stroke of luck comes with a major downside: the money belonged to local Chinatown gangsters, who wage a war to get the bag back. Corey Ha, Michael Tow, Woody Fu, Wai Ching Hoand Clem Cheung also star.

I got the chance to see Lucky Grandma at Tribeca last year and it quickly became one of my favorite movies at the festival. A screwy black comedy mixed with a neo-noir, Lucky Grandma is stylish and fun, centered around a dynamic, once-in-a-career performance by Chin. As I wrote in my review, “Chin is a tsunami of charisma in this role, radiating coolness and looking for all the world like she’s lived hard and played harder… She’s one of the richest elderly characters to have ever graced our screens, and Chin seems to delight in playing a character so difficult and complicated.”

Here is the synopsis for Lucky Grandma:

In the heart of Chinatown, New York, an ornery, chain-smoking, newly widowed 80-year-old Grandma (Tsai Chin) is eager to live life as an independent woman, despite the worry of her family. When a local fortune teller (Wai Ching Ho) predicts a most auspicious day in her future, Grandma decides to head to the casino and goes all in, only to land herself on the wrong side of luck…suddenly attracting the attention of some local gangsters. Desperate to protect herself, Grandma employs the services of a bodyguard from a rival gang (Corey Ha) and soon finds herself right in the middle of a Chinatown gang war.

Lucky Grandma premieres “in virtual theaters,” AKA on digital and on-demand, on May 22, 2020.

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