As a 30-something woman who is unmarried and childless, Tully looked like playful, middle-aged canon. On first glance, we see a trailer featuring a mom with carry-on luggage under her eyes and a clueless husband who spends his free time playing video games.
Tully tells a tale as old as time; a married couple whose bond exists mainly on a notarized piece of paper. Marlo (Charlize Theron) and her husband Drew (Ron Livingston) have three children — a sweet-yet-outspoken young lady, a little boy who is a bit of a loose cannon, and a newborn.
When Marlo is gifted a paid-for nighttime nanny from her well-to-do brother, Craig (Mark Duplass), she’s skeptical. Most new mothers don’t want to leave their babies with acquaintances, much less strangers.
There’s a lot to be said for quality of life when one reaches the point of imminent extinction due to exhaustion, and Marlo quietly caves after a meeting with the principal at her son’s school leaves her examining new education options for him in a mandatory fashion.
Like a sunset after a storm, Tully (Mackenzie Davis) arrives.
Though they’ve never met, Marlo and Tully have a very quick familiarity. Tully has a very serene way about her that helps to put Marlo at ease. She’s great with the baby and seems to know Marlo like an old friend.
Drew begins to notice the shift in Marlo and everything turns around for the family. As an audience member, I was forced to wait on the edge of my seat for the other shoe to drop.
There’s more to Tully than meets the eye. Writer Diablo Cody previously penned gems like Juno and Young Adult. At the surface, they appear to be your typical dramedy fare, but her films tend to take the viewer to a place they weren’t expecting to go.
Tully takes a conscientious approach to this genre. It is a bracing interpretation of life and the toll it takes. Director Jason Reitman — who worked with Charlize on Young Adult — presents moviegoers with an authentic on-screen experience, much like what we’ve come to expect from him.
That said, I have to imagine that Charlize doesn’t take much direction to deliver a sublime performance. Tully is no exception to that and Charlize’s name ought to be mentioned come awards season.
When credits rolled, a woman next to me asked, “Where have I seen Mackenzie Davis before?”
She’s been around for ages and after Tully, I find myself seeking out her entire body of work. Most famously, she starred in what is widely regarded as the most beloved episode of Black Mirror, San Junipero. She also stole the show in the box office flop, That Awkward Moment, and popped up in Blade Runner 2049, as well.
To the naked eye, Tully is a movie for the female demographic, but underneath that, it is such a human film. The flaws that make us people coupled with superbly illustrated insecurities so many of us have a difficult time coming to terms with are a structural entity in this film.
Tully is a relatable and funny flick, but gives its viewer so much and takes so little. One of my favorites of the year so far, Tully is in theaters May 3rd!