HOLLYWOOD—It has been quite a while since I’ve seen a movie with a tremendous level of heart, powerful acting and just takes you out of your orbit. “Tully” is the perfect movie just in time for Mother’s Day to show some of the plight both good and bad that moms encounter on a day-to-day basis. The film sees a reunion between director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody. Cody and Reitman collaborated on the films “Juno” and “Young Adult.”
Charlize Theron stars as Marlo, a mother of three who is spiraling out of control. The demands of being a mother, working and just going through the motions of the day has left Marlo exhausted, on edge and on the verge of a mental breakdown. Theron, who gained nearly 50 pounds to portray the character, absolutely immerses herself into the role; you feel for this character, you sympathize with her and her frustration becomes your frustration.
On top of the emotional rollercoaster the audience endures with Marlo, the film brings a major bright spot when she learns about the notion of a night-nanny. Yeah, it is something I’ve never heard of, but it seems like shear brilliance. For most parents, the primary goal is to have a sitter during the day, but it seems smarter to have one during night. Why? You get the opportunity to sleep, we all know now new parents are sleep deprived and just noting “Tully” might be hinting at a possible solution.
Speaking of the night-nanny, Tully (Mackenzie Davis) arrives in Marlo’s life and the two ladies develop a powerful bond. Davis is a revelation on the screen and holds her own with an Oscar-winner. The chemistry between Davis and Theron is sensational and is quite frankly a revelation to watch on the screen. She might be younger, but her words of wisdom and maturity are heightened compared to so many we know. It is worth noting Marlo has help with her husband Drew (Ron Livingston), but he’s notably absent most of the day when mom is taking care of kids and the house. Livingston is a presence in the film, but this film belongs to Theron and Davis.
Cody’s script is riveting, gripping and takes the audience in several directions you would never expect. Layer after layer of Marlo’s personality is pulled back as the narrative progresses, not to mention Tully as well. Even though I’m not a woman, I absolutely connected with our main character, her kids, her husband and her family. We all know someone enduring similar struggles just like Marlo, and if we don’t know someone, we know someone who knows someone who has.
Jason Reitman captures this level of heart and excitement to a movie that you may not think will be entertaining, but it entertains on so many more fronts than you can ever imagine. “Tully” has a narrative that blows anything that I’ve recently seen out of the water. It’s not just sharp when it comes to character development, but acting and delivers a story that is enthralling to watch as it unfolds.
Trust me when I say that, it’s shocking at times, but the twists that are delivered to the audience work in a way that opens our eyes to the struggles that we encounter and ways to solve those issues. “Tully” is a film that will hold a special place in my heart. Mothers have it tough, but life is tough and we can endure anything, even things that seem impossible in the beginning.