Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this week from writer/director Josh Margolin and Magnolia Pictures is the story of a woman on a mission with THELMA.

Thelma (June Squibb) is an elderly woman living on her home since the death of her husband. Spending a lot of time with Thelma is grandson Daniel (Fred Hechinger) who helps where he can and teaches grandma something about the computer world. One morning Thelma receives a distressing telephone call that Daniel is in trouble and needs a large sum of money sent immediately to free him.

Being a good grandmother, Thelma immediately sends the funds in the mail. A bit later, she begins to wonder what she has done and calls Daniel to discover that he is fine and she has been scammed. Running over to question her is Daniels parents Gail (Parker Posey) and Alan (Clark Gregg). Beginning to wonder whether Thelma can continue to live alone, she has other ideas.

Taking off to see Ben (Richard Roundtree) to borrow his super-scooter, Thelma decides she is going to go to the address and get her money back. Now, Daniel, Gail and Alan are on the chase to find Thelma with the help of Detective Morgan (Chase Kim). Nothing is going to stop her from getting to those who underestimate the power of senior anger!

Squibb as Thelma absolutely slays in this role! Look, you don’t have to be 93 to want to put a criminal in his place and that’s exactly what Thelma does. Squibb’s voice might sound like that of a helpless senior but when the going gets tough, the tough snags a scooter! I just adored watching this story unfold because, if it be told, I’d probably want to do the exactly same thing. Squibb gives us a peek into the possibilities and, at the same time, understand her feelings of friendship, loss and being alone at her age. Just a wonderful performance!

Hechinger as Daniel is a truly kind grandson who wants to help grandma as much as possible. Even when she bucks, he makes it clear that he wants to be of service. At the same time, he is going through his own issues of breaking the cord between his parents and finding out what he is really made of.

Posey as Gail and Gregg as Alan are indecisive and a tad senior-judgmental people who don’t really understand Thelma and understand Daniel even less. They are all over the place and although their hearts may seem genuine, its hard to understand what makes them survive day to day. That’s not a bad thing, I’m just the outsider looking at them with a huge question mark over my head and then laughing.

Shout out to Roundtree as Ben living in a senior facility (are we not allowed to say nursing home anymore I wonder) and seeming to enjoy it. He also has a secret thang for Thelma and before he has a chance to say ‘bob’s your uncle’, Thelma has him caught up in the adventure and not so sure he’s enjoying it. I enjoyed watching Roundtree and, along with Squibb, show that one senior is good – two is a force to be reckoned with.

Other cast include Shela Korsi as Gloria, Annie O’Donnell as Grace, Zoe Worth as the Theater Director, David Giuliani as Starey Gary, Ruben Rabasa as Winston, Nicole Byer as Rochelle, Quinn Beswick as Colin, Coral Pena as Allie, and Bunny Levine as Mona.

Magnolia Pictures is responsible for such releases as SLAY THE DRAGON, JOHN LEWIS: Good Trouble, the crime thriller THE WHISTLERS, documentaries such as THE PIECES I AM and films such as the directorial debut of Italian filmmaker Filippo Meneghetti. For more of what they have to offer please visit

THELMA is so much fun to watch and it is because of Squibb and her ability to pull of comedy. I have always enjoyed her performances but this one might by my favorite. She takes the lead and holds it the entire film with her charm, sweetness (until further notice), and focus on the task at hand! To my mind, criminals need to be on notice when someone like Thelma is around.

The underlying story is also quite touching as Thelma lives alone and doesn’t realize how that has had her feeling till she visits friends. Seeing for herself that there is a sadness for people her age. Thelma has made a life for herself but forgot to let others into that life to enjoy the years that pass all too quickly.

In the midst of all of this mix is pure comedy gold. Squibb and Roundtree together had me laughing so much. The adventure could never have been what Thelma imagined but it certainly didn’t stop her from the finish line. Watching everyone else run around like mad to save Thelma from herself, its too bad they didn’t understand that she had things under control, well, in her own special way and that’s all that matters. What a wonderful story that writer/director Margolin has brought to the screen so if you are looking for heartwarming, adventurous fun, then let THELMA take you on a ride.

In the end – revenge has never been sweeter!



Recommend to friends
  • gplus
  • pinterest

About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.