• Golden Globe Awards

Lucky Grandma (USA)

She is what you might call a cool granny – chain-smoking, feisty, with a penchant for regular psychic readings, this old Chinese lady is told by her clairvoyant that October 28 will bring a windfall of luck to her. Meanwhile, her American-born son wants her to move in with him and his family because her retirement money won’t really cover her rent and expenses much longer. On the said day, Grandma Wong (Tsai Chin), decides to join a group of other Chinese immigrants who live in her Manhattan Chinatown neighborhood on a day trip to Atlantic City. There, she places bets and at first, wins at every game from roulette to slots to blackjack, before losing it all to another older Chinese man. 
On the way back, the man sits next to her on the bus and falls asleep. Or so she thinks. It turns out he has had a heart attack. As the bus rounds a bend, his bag falls into her lap, and she decides to keep it, thereby unleashing a gang war between two Triads. While one is after her and the money, she hires a loveable bodyguard from the other, not realizing that she has become a piece of a dangerous game for both sides.
This is the debut film for director Sasie Sealy, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was subsequently listed by The New York Times as one of “9 Filmmakers Who Should Be on Your Radar.”
The title character is played by Tsai Chin, who excels in playing tough women with acerbic wit, all the way back to the Joy Luck Club where she portrayed Waverly’s mother. Hsiao-Yuan Ha stars as the ‘discount bodyguard’ Big Pong who feels like a Chinese version of André the Giant. Sasie Sealy and her co-writer Angela Cheng have focused on the theme of the elusiveness of luck, which contributes to the underlying subtlety of a film that could otherwise well-have been a full-on comic action drama.