Tully – Movie Review

Tully – R
Release Date: Fri 4 May 2018

Tully pairs Juno collaborators Jason Reitman (director) and Diablo Cody (writer) for a film about a desperately overextended mother (Charlize Theron) who is helped by a quirky saint-like figure in the form of “night nanny” Tully (Mackenzie Davis.)

Though the movie reveals itself in a couple of last-minute twists, the story feels randomly strung together. Marlo (Theron) has a daughter and son before she gives birth to another baby girl early in the movie. The son has behavioral issues that Marlo isn’t really able to find strategies for and there’s an entire subplot where he is likely to be kicked out of his current kindergarten.

After what seems like a long, dry setup we are finally introduced to Tully. Mackenzie Davis is great in the role, but again the film-making falls short here. Scenes between Marlo and Tully are meant to be a little fuzzy and abstract through the lens of Marlo’s deep exhaustion and post partum symptoms. Unfortunately that leaves the viewer to just grind gears until the narrative finally decides to let us in on what is happening.

The last 90 seconds of this movie are great. It will make mothers cry. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was the conclusion to a better movie than what the rest of Tully ended up being.

Hannah and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car:

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