A review of the new film “Tully”

Director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody first worked together on the justifiably acclaiimed “Juno”, featuring a teenage girl unexpectedly pregnant. A decade later, the two are paired again for another film with a single-word, woman’s name for the title and again we start with an unplanned pregnancy. This time, however, the pregnant woman is in her early 40s and already has two children, one of whom has special needs.

Marlo (wonderfully played by Charlize Theron) finds that the responsibility of three children (Cody herself is a mother of three), – especially when the baby needs breastfeeding at all times of the day and night and the father is semi-detached – is driving her crazy and reluctantly she accepts an offer from her brother of a night nurse, the eponymous Tully (a delightful Mackenzie Davis), who seems to be the answer to her dreams.

There are so few movies with women in the leading roles in real-life situations, like the challenges of motherhood, and this work really brings home how tough it can be and how little sleep is involved. At the time, some of the scenes and situations seem odd, even uncomfortable, but at the very end, it all makes sense.

Whether you see the finale as a manipulative conceit or an acceptable narrative device (I’m in the later camp) will determine how you rate the film, but this is a welcome attempt to show a side of the female experience that hardly features in mainstream cinema, reminding us that the mind is a beautiful thing.


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