Coming to theaters this Friday from writer Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman along with Focus Features is the stunning story of “Tully.”
Marlo (Charlize Theron) is a pregnant mother of two making it one day at a time. Taking care of 8-year-old Sarah (Lia Frankland) and 6-year-old Jonah (Asher Fallica) is taking its toll. Jonah also needs special attention and Marlo is immediately informed that perhaps her son needs a different school.
Husband Drew (Ron Livingston) does a lot of traveling on business and not noticing that Marlo is starting to feel the stress of — well — everything. Craig (Mark Duplass) is Marlo’s brother who is well off and sees that his sister is not herself. As a well-meaning gift, he has paid for a night-nanny so that she can get some rest.
Having the baby seems to make Marlo even more tired and out of sorts. She finally agrees to have a night-nanny and meets Tully (Mackenzie Davis). A little on edge at first, one night of sleep and waking up to a clean house gives life a brighter outlook thanks to Tully.
There is so much more to this young lifesaver as Marlo begins to find a friend who comes to her home every night and just listens. They talk, laugh and try to figure out the complexities of life. Tully becomes Marlo’s life cheerleader of sorts and she starts to find her way back to the family and Drew.
But there comes a time when Tully explains to Marlo that she must be moving on. Dismayed and confused, Marlo is caught up in what she will do next — and that’s when a realization hits her like a car into a tree.
Life is like that sometimes.
Theron as Marlo is absolutely incredible and shows us once again why she is an iconic actress who can bring a character such depth. Last year we saw her as a total badass in “Atomic Blonde” and here she is, 50 pounds heavier, playing a woman more than a few of us can relate to. Hair a mess, dropping off kids here and there, breastfeeding, going to school functions and meetings, making dinner, trying to keep house and forgetting what it’s like to be desirable to a husband, the character of Marlo is so much deeper. I love every second of this film.
Davis as Tully is energetic, wild, lovely and sees the world as many of us either can’t remember anymore or do but won’t admit it to ourselves. From the moment this character steps into Marlo’s life, Davis brings everything she has and does so with an ease that is remarkable. The final scene between Tully and Marlo proves my point on so many levels so be prepared for tissue time!
Livingston as Drew is a husband who just wants to keep things status quo. He loves being a husband and a dad but has disconnected in ways that he doesn’t know how to fix. Duplass as Craig is a brother who seems unaware that inviting his sister over to his very wealthy surroundings doesn’t help matters much. In the midst of that, it is clear that he loves his sister very much.
Frankland as Sara is smarter than her young years and she knows that something isn’t quite right at home. Fallica as Jonah is a young boy who is trying to find his place and I personally think he is smarter than given credit for.
Other cast includes Elaine Tran as Elyse, Maddie Dixon-Poirier as Emmy, Colleen Wheeler as Dr. Smythe, Joshua Pak as Dallas, Gameela Wright as Laurie and Bella Star Choy as Greta.
“Tully” is a film that is going to blow people away, absolutely drop jaws. This film runs the emotional course that, as a mother, I totally felt every bit of her predicament. The emotions portrayed here are done in a way that is funny, head smacking and heartbreaking.
Diablo Cody has once again written a script that is real, solid and life capturing. Director Reitman takes that script and brings the only woman I can imagine being Marlo and letting her run with the story.
This is a tale of a life that is messy, unpredictable, regretful and not regretful, disconnected and yet it all makes sense squished together to bring a beauty that I will not soon forget. “Tully” is the kind of film that I miss seeing and hope Ms. Cody won’t wait so long to write another script about life and what we do with it.
In the end — this is how the mother half-lives!