Thelma is a charming little film that will make you want to call or hug your grandparents. It’s a story about aging, resilience, and humor.
Thelma is a 93-year-old woman who is still quite agile for her age. She loves her grandson Danny, who teaches her how to use a computer at the beginning of the movie. Despite her stability, Thelma still needs to use a LifeAlert device.
One day, Thelma receives a call from someone claiming to be her grandson, who says he has been arrested and needs bail money. Thelma, unfortunately, sends the money, not understanding it is a scam. And well, she wants it back.
Despite the objections of others, Thelma decides to track down the imposter when she discovers that he used AI technology to scam her out of ten thousand dollars.
Thelma’s narrative is full of comedic moments that use the mechanics of vulnerability. For instance, when Thelma’s family pursues her across the city, she employs her life button to divert their attention. Such small details in Thelma’s story make the writing clever.
Josh Margolin’s Direction
Josh Margolin’s direction is empathetic and sincere, adding to the vulnerability discussion. The film authentically portrays the limitations of getting older and the challenges of everyday tasks.
June Squibb’s Performance
June Squibb is excellent as Thelma. She is more than willing to go above and beyond in every scene she is given. She is simply lovely in this film.
The film has some imperfections. The plot relies on unrealistic coincidences at various points, making it less believable. The writing takes the safest approach whenever characters are in danger, which can sometimes feel predictable.
Thelma is anchored by an incredibly charming cast of familiar faces. Parker Posey plays Gail (Thelma’s daughter) alongside Clark Gregg as her son-in-law Alan. Richard Roundtree makes an endearing final performance in the film.
Thelma is a charming, imperfect little film that most Sundance viewers will embrace. June Squibb is an absolute delight in the titular role. The film is a sweet and sentimental love letter to older adults.