Hats Off

Ain't gonna lie to you — I settled in to watch Hats Off with a certain amount of trepidation. Heartwarming doc about a quirky ninetysomething who's still doggedly pursing the acting career she kicked off at age 65? Not really what charges my batteries. But it didn't take long before Mimi Weddell won me over, with props to director Jyll Johnstone for managing to make her film inspiring yet not at all saccharine. Weddell — whose credits include cult slasher comedy Student Bodies (1981); Sex and the City (as Stanford's grandma); and multiple Law and Orders — has more or less carved out the little-old-lady niche among casting directors in New York City, where she lives in an apartment stuffed with relatives (including both of her grown children and a grandchild) and lots of hats. Though Mimi's health problems are hinted at, and it's clear finances are a concern, Hats Off is exactly what its title implies: a tribute to the longevity of a true free spirit. (1:24) Sundance Kabuki. (Eddy)

HATS OFF -- the acclaimed documentary by Canobie Films, starring Mimi Weddell. All materials © 2008