Dan Says Charlize Theron Gives a Knockout Performance in TULLY.

Share Button

FILM REVIEW: TULLY

BY DAN SKIP ALLEN

My own mother went through hell and back for her four children. Changing diapers and getting up late at night isn’t my thing. I don’t know how mothers do it. Taking care of one, two or even more children is incredible. How this mom keeps the house clean and cooks dinner for everybody is mind blowing. She is exhausted at the end of the night. Charlize Theron does all this and more in Tully.

On a visit to her brother’s house for a dinner, Marlo ( Charlize Theron) gets some advice. Her brother Craig (played by Mark Duplass) suggests that she get some help. He has gotten the phone number of a night nurse who has come to them very highly recommended. At first, Marlo baulks at the idea and continues to do things the way she has been doing all along. Each day that goes by, mom looks more and more disheveled. Giving birth to another child has just been too much for her to handle. After talking to her husband Drew, portrayed by Ron Livingston, she decides to call the night nurse. One night unannounced Tully shows up at the door. Tully (MacKenzie Davis) says “I’m here to help you.” And help is exactly what she does. Marlo gets more sleep than she has gotten in years. She starts to feel a lot better about herself with Tully’s help. Even her husband starts to notice her change in demeanor.

Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody have worked together twice before on Juno and Young Adult. The latter with Charlize Theron. They obviously have a connection and chemistry with each other. These scripts must speak to the director and actor. Cody has an incredible knack of writing mother characters very well. Ellen Page was nominated for an Oscar for portraying Juno. She must take things from her own life to put into these stories. They seem so personal to me.

Charlize Theron has been doing a lot of different things in her career since her Oscar winning portrayal of Aileene Wuornos back in 2003 in Monster. She has done a lot of action films such as Mad Max: Fury Road and recently Atomic Blonde. Rarely has she stripped down and put it all out there for the world to see like she has done in Tully.  Her performance in Monster, not withstanding. She has no makeup and wears a fat suit when she’s not pregnant. This gives her the desired look she needs to make us, the viewers, believe she is having a nervous breakdown.

This film takes a little while to get to the point it’s aiming for, but the desired effect is well received. The combination of Reitman, Cody and Theron have one upped themselves from Young Adult there previous collaboration together. This may be the best performance from Theron since Monster. This film captures the raw nature of motherhood and how it’s not so pretty all the time. Based solely on the film’s writing, direction and especially Theron’s performance, Tully is a film worth seeking out.

 

FINAL WORD: