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Sundance 2018 Review: “Tully” (2018) ★★★★★


There are so many films telling about mothers, and so maybe that describe the nightmares many mothers have to go through. Yet, I can’t remember any film that got close to what Charlize Theron portrays in the film “Tully”. Her character – Marlo is a mom of two with the third one on the way, expected to cheer the world by end of Monday. However, as we look at Marlo, we see how exhausted and on the edge of a breakdown.

Her husband Drew (Ron Livingston) is a nice guy who tries to support Marlo as much as he can. The whole problem is, even though he helps children with their homework, it’s not enough to pull Marlo out of the madness of numerous sleepless nights. And with the arrival of the newborn child, seems nothing is going to get any better. Marlo’s wealthy brother Mark Duplass) decides to make her life easier. He makes a very useful gift to his sister – a night nanny named Tully (Mackenzie Davis). As we first meet her, Tully looks like an angel.

At first, Marlo does not want to have a stranger in her house, and especially, trust her newborn daughter Mia’s care to her. Next, the director Jason Reitman brings a super-sequence of scenes to our attention, where Marlo keep on changing Mia’s diapers day and night to the point she gets absolutely desperate and finally gives Tully a call. To her great surprise, Tully not only turns out to be an excellent nanny but also cleans the house, makes cupcakes and even quietly brings Mia up to Marlo’s room when it is time to nurse her. With enough sleep and part of the burden lifted off her shoulders, we see all the positive changes in Marlo – she looks refreshed and healthy.

Now, there comes another problem Marlo has to face. Her son Jonah is not welcomed at the school where her brother is a donor. The teachers call the boy “corky” and very distractive and want him to be moved to a different school where he will fit better. There is one particular scene that suggests that Jonah might be having an autism, but you will never hear that word throughout the film.

I should emphasize that Charlize Theron’s performance in this film is fearless, indomitable and must not be missed. From one scene to another, she delivers a pure masterclass, making us wonder whether there is anything at all that Ms. Theron can’t do? Her detailed approach to her character, as well as Mackenzie Davis’ portrayal of Tully, are something any movie lover should see. Indeed, we don’t see this kind of performances that often.

In conclusion, written by Diablo Cody and directed by the Canadian filmmaker Jason Reitman, “Tully” offers an exquisite recipe to what needs to be done in order to help a woman to overcome an overwhelming stress. And the important component of that recipe is hiring someone like Tully, who, at her young age of 26 is wise beyond her years, provides the extra hand that should’ve been provided by, let’s say a husband, who instead of playing computer games, should look around sometimes. “Tully” is a funny and clever film that should be seen by every parent and not only…

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