Tuesday, May 15, 2018

[Review] Tully

Directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody (Juno), Tully kicks around as an equally funny and somber character drama about someone who's really going through it.

Charlize Theron plays Marlo, a comically blunt mother of two who's expecting a third. She's having a rough go of it though, as she's slipped into a major mode of depression. Things don't get much better after she has the new baby, so she reluctantly decides to hire a "night nanny" to lighten the load. That night nanny is the titular character Tully (played by Mackenzie Davis). She's free-spirited, compassionate, and almost too good to be true in Marlo's eyes. After getting past the awkward stage, the two begin to form a deeply personal bond -- for better or for worse.

What unwinds is a commendably unglamorous and sometimes brutally honest look into the more stressful side of motherhood. It's also an intriguing and deftly modern take on relationships between thirty-somethings and twenty-somethings and how perceptions and outlooks on lifestyle and happiness can be so different -- even amongst the closest of generations. Charlize Theron is absolutely terrific in the leading role. She embodies this character with nuance, depth, and a genuine believability. Also great is Mackenzie Davis, popping in with an impressive supporting performance -- it's fleeting, but impactful. Diablo Cody's pensive screenplay is rich with realism and humanity, and it consistently contains bouts of affecting, thoughtful dialogue that will either make you chuckle or put you in the pits -- sometimes all at once.

Tully moves along with both subtle turning points and drastic turning points, and Jason Reitman seems more interested in exploring these characters' ins and outs, rather than presenting a clean, overarching narrative. In the end, there aren't many clear-cut revelations or major changes in the status quo, and that's okay. It's all about trying to find ways to keep pushing on.

( 8/10 )

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