Thelma: an action comedy with feeling – movie review

By Alexandra Heilbron on June 21, 2024 | 1 Comment

Thelma tells the story of 93-year-old grandmother Thelma Post (June Squibb), who gets scammed by someone impersonating her grandson Danny on the phone. The voice says he’s in jail because he hit a pregnant woman with his car and needs $10,000 to be sent in cash to a specific address. When she asks why his voice sounds strange, he says his nose was broken.

Thelma can’t get Danny on the phone, so panicked, she gets $10,000 together and rushes to the post office. When it turns out that Danny didn’t answer the phone because he was asleep — and was never in an accident or jail — Thelma is relieved, but perturbed that she allowed herself to be scammed.

Danny’s parents, Alan (Clark Gregg) and Gail (Parker Posey) — decide it might be wise to look into having Thelma move into assisted living. They don’t consult her on this — she hears it while they’re in the next room. Upset by the thought, Thelma decides to get back her $10,000 — without her family’s help.

And so Thelma embarks on an adventure, getting into scrapes along the way. June Squibb, who received an Oscar nomination for her performance in the 2004 movie Nebraska, and who can be currently heard on the big screen in the hit film Inside Out 2 as the voice of Nostalgia, appears in her first starring role. She was the exact same age as the character she plays in Thelma during shooting of the film, and though the role is demanding, her performance is delightful, filled with energy and depth.

Thelma’s unwilling partner in crime, nursing home resident and old friend Ben (Richard Roundtree, in his final performance) adds the Yin to Thelma’s Yang. Richard Roundtree plays the role with a wisdom and strength that perfectly complements Thelma’s impulsiveness.

Fred Hechinger, who plays Danny and also executive produces alongside June Squibb, plays her devoted grandson, who worries about Thelma. He constantly reminds her to wear her wrist alarm in case she falls down, and calls or visits her every day. The chemistry between the two is open and heartwarming, and not something we see often in movies between intergenerational characters. Fred Hechinger almost steals some scenes away from June Squibb — not an easy thing to do — by infusing incredible charm and fun into his interactions with her.

Don’t forget to watch the end credits, which has a scene involving the real Thelma and her grandson, word for word as we saw it acted out beautifully by the two lead actors in an earlier scene.

Thelma was filmed on a much smaller budget than the blockbusters that attract huge crowds, but it’s an absolute gem that will delight audiences with its charm and comedy.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Thelma is now playing in theaters nationwide. If you have seen Thelma and would like to rate/review it yourself, click here.

Comments & Discussion

  1. Gail • June 25, 2024 @ 1:41 AM

    The back ground sound of drums and what ever was terrible, I had to plug my ears. I can’t
    believe the horrible loud noise called back ground. Please don’t make another movie.

  2. Jim Cunningham • June 25, 2024 @ 5:20 PM

    The drum thing was jarring and unpleasant, and I’m surprised it was accepted by the producers. It was godawful and spoiled a good bit of the early scenes. Richard Roundtree’s performance was touching and beautiful and should earn him an Oscar nomination. It capped a wonderful career and was a fitting final performance for a great actor. Truthfully I expected more hilarity from the promos, but the movie told some hard truths about longevity that are rarely portrayed in such a realistic context. I went to this movie hoping for a lot of laughs and ended up affirming a lot of what I’ve been feeling about my own stage of life, but I’m glad I went.

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