Title – Tully (2018)
Director – Jason Reitman (Juno)
Cast – Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Rob Livingston, Mark Duplass
Plot – Struggling mother of three Marlo (Theron) employs the services of night nanny Tully (Davis) to help her with the running of her household and the care of her newborn baby.
“Mom, what’s wrong with your body?”
Review by Eddie on 15/06/2018
Teaming up for the third time with screenwriting partner Diablo Cody and for the second time with leading lady Charlize Theron, director Jason Reitman has with his parental and mental illness drama Tully sought redemption for some forgettable years behind the camera with the likes of the terrible Labor Day and the little-seen if relatively decent Men, Woman and Children.
Much better also than his last Cody/Theron collaboration Young Adult, Tully is a carefully considered and multi-layered examination of Theron’s struggling mother of three Marlo, who finds solace and peace with Mackenzie Davis’s overnight nanny Tully, who arrives at the right time to stop Marlo from falling off the deep end after her new baby daughter is born.
Reitman, who made his name with dramedies Thank You For Smoking, Juno and Up in the Air, is perfectly at home here with Tully’s mix of drama and humour, a staple of the Cody screenwriting diet, and Tully is very much a film that doesn’t hold back from showing the relatable and often horrific realities of parenthood.
Front and centre of these horrors, joys and all that falls in between is Theron as the frail around the edges Marlo, a loving mother and wife to Ron Livingston’s Gears of War loving husband Drew and it’s a performance that is highly likely to feature come the awards season slog at the end of the year.
Devoid of any of the starlet qualities that have seen her become a staple of Hollywood for a number of years, Theron is as raw and nigh on unrecognisable as she’s been since her Oscar winning turn in Monster in the early 2000’s and she is the key reason as to why Tully succeeds to the level it does.
Theron is simply brilliant in her role and whether she’s on a seemingly endless diaper changing run or interacting with her newfound friend Tully, Theron is the heart and soul of Reitman’s film and come the films later stages, forms an emotional and in many ways confronting character that is one of the best creations of Cody’s career and another strong female lead in the directional career of Reitman.
With Theron so good it’s hard for the rest of the film to match her and while the likes of Livingston and Davis do well in their respective roles, everything else in Reitman’s film largely pails in comparison to Theron’s committed and memorable turn.
Final Say –
An honest examination of the potential downfall’s of parenthood and also a lovingly crafted look at the joys of the parenting adventure, featuring a surprising and confronting last act, Tully is a return to form for Reitman and Cody and another standout piece of work from Theron who makes Tully more than the sum of its parts.
3 ½ nappy changes out of 5