LUCKY GRANDMA – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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I first saw Lucky Grandma at London Film Festival last year, and I haven’t stopped thinking about its wild sass and its instantly vivid characters since. So I am beyond delighted that it’s getting a release that allows a wide audience to see it… ironically, probably a much wider one than it might have gotten pre-pandemic shutdown. Because now you can stream the film at home from anywhere (in the US, at least, for the moment) while also supporting brick-and-mortar arthouses. Win-win!

Tsai Chin is an absolute hoot as a chain-smoking, no-fucks-given recent widow in New York’s Chinatown. After a local fortune teller announces that a certain day will be very auspicious for her, she hops a bus to an Atlantic City casino and presses that luck, the upshot of which is that — who knew? — it turns out that bags of cash will attract the attention of some unpleasant gangster types once she gets back home. Continue reading…

EDITOR’S NOTE: Lucky Grandma is AWFJ’s Movie of the Week for May 22, 2020

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MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).