Two Sure Things, Sight Unseen

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Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics L to R: Sage (Julia Garner) and Elle Reid (Lily Tomlin) in “Grandma.”

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.
L to R: Sage (Julia Garner) and Elle Reid (Lily Tomlin) in “Grandma.”

GRANDMA”

Take the well-traveled but reliable road trip formula, place Lily Tomlin behind the wheel of a vintage Dodge, put Paul Weitz in the director’s chair and charge him with helping his own screenplay.

That’s reason enough for us to place this comedy-drama at the top of our sight unseen, must-see list. Tomlin — who excels at playing difficult people redeemed by a sharp tongue and a sympathetic spark — stars as an “acerbic aging poet” still pining for her deceased partner and freshly burnt from a bad romance. Onto the back burner her own problems go when teenage granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner) arrives, desperate for $600 and in need of grandma’s wheels. So off they ride, all around town, in a daylong quest to raise the funds. Laverne Cox, Sam Elliott and Marcia Gay Harden are among the supporting cast of old friends and flames, each with a secret to keep or tell.

Mon., 4/20, 9:30pm at BMCC Tribeca PAC (199 Chambers St. btw. Greenwich & West Sts.). Tues., 4/21, 6:30pm, at Regal Cinemas Battery Park (102 North End Ave. at Vesey St.). Tickets: $18 ($3.50 phone & web reservation fee). Visit tribecafilm.com/festival or call 646-502-5296.

Photo by Lukas Ettlin Arnold Schwarzenegger as Wade and Abigail Breslin as the titular character, in “Maggie.”

Photo by Lukas Ettlin.
Arnold Schwarzenegger as Wade and Abigail Breslin as the titular character, in “Maggie.”

“MAGGIE”
Love him or hate him — as an actor, husband or governor — you can’t say you weren’t warned. This summer, the man who ushered a thick Austrian-accented “I’ll be back” into the American lexicon makes good on that promise, yet again, when Arnold Schwarzenegger returns with another “Terminator” installment. We need another one of those like we need another zombie film. And we mean that — if the zombie film in question has as much potential to bring new life to the walking dead as “Maggie” does.

Before he hits the screens as a cyborg this July, Schwarzenegger can be seen at the Tribeca Film Festival — playing dedicated dad Wade, who makes his way through the outbreak’s neighbor-against-neighbor chaos to check his infected daughter out of the hospital and back to a picturesque Midwest farm. Henry Hobson makes his feature film debut, with a “quietly observant yet thrilling approach” to the zombie genre. Betting on his inner strength to save the day as Maggie’s progressive disease turns her into a ravenous and powerful threat, Wade attempts to guide her through that difficult age where kids care more about eating brains and ripping flesh than hitting the books and obeying curfew.

Wed., 4/22, 6pm at BMCC Tribeca PAC (199 Chambers St. btw. Greenwich & West Sts.). Thurs., 4/23, 9:15pm & Sat., 4/25, 9:30pm at Regal Cinemas Battery Park (102 North End Ave. at Vesey St.). Tickets: $18 ($3.50 phone & web reservation fee). Visit tribecafilm.com/festival or call 646-502-5296. On May 8, “Maggie” begins its theatrical run and becomes available On Demand.

BY SCOTT STIFFLER

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