film reel image

film reel image

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Tully 2018 * * * Stars

TullyDirector: Jason Reitman
Year: 2018
Rated R
Rating: * * * Stars
Cast: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Ron Livingston

2018's Tully is the type of movie studios just don't make anymore. I'm glad Denver and Delilah Productions stepped in and reconsidered. As something about an exhausted mother who hires and forms a friendship with her night nanny, Tully projects as an in-your-face drama with mild shades of kookiness. On the surface, it's about nannies. Look closer though because the flick may be about mental illness and hallucinatory weariness as well.

Admittedly, Tully does have a final fifteen minutes that contain a few dangling plot threads. You might need to a second viewing just to put the pieces together. Also, the whole film places its good-hearted main character in the median of otherwise shallow, side characters. Regardless, Tully is a tribute to hard-working, struggling moms everywhere. There's endless detail here when it comes to a woman raising two small children and one budding newborn.

Image result for tully movie 2018 movie scenesTully stars Charlize Theron as mama Marlo and Mackenzie Davis as caretaker Tully. Theron and Davis have great chemistry on screen and their performances for the most part, are exceptional. Theron channels Marlo with unassuming, nerve-ending intensity while Davis plays it calm, cool, and spiritual in a tailor made supporting role. I know it's only May but the Academy should now take note of these two.

Marlo and Tully are apart in age but they form a special bond. They are like two best buds in the middle of the pitted, outside world. Tully the movie takes a detour when you realize that Tully the persona may instead turn out to be Marlo's actual, imaginary friend (small spoiler). Trust me, when the closing credits come up, you the audience member will be hard-pressed to get that notion out of your head. 

Image result for tully movie 2018 movie scenesDirector Jason Reitman is at the helm of Tully. He's the king of taking humdrum, everyday human situations and giving them some added bite. Jason also provides third act twists too. He shoots, fast cuts, and edits Tully partly like his 2009 pic Up in the Air and his Young Adult from seven years ago. George Clooney and frequent flyer miles withstanding, Jason seems to have a fascination with glowing women, pregnancy, and comprehensive breastfeeding. To each his own.

Bottom line: Tully is insightful, initially heartbreaking, and contains a very sharp script by Reitman's partner in crime, Diablo Cody. Jason Reitman once again "rights" the cinematic ship in novel fashion. Rating: 3 stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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