Writer: Diablo Cody (Screenplay)
Starring: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Ron Livingston, Asher Miles Fallica, Lia Frankland, Mark Duplass, Elaine Tan, Gameela Wright
Plot: A struggling mother of three forms an unexpected bond with the night nanny hired to help with her newborn baby.
Tagline – From the People Who Brought You Juno and Young Adult
Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: True Look at Motherhood
Story: Tully starts when Marlo (Theron) and Drew (Livingston) are expecting their third child, with their second child struggling with a form of autism the stress is piling up on Marlo, her brother offers to hire them a night nanny to help with the lack of sleep, which will see her come just at night to let Marlo sleep.
Marlo slowly turns to the night nanny Tully (Davis) who does step in to help, giving Marlo the sleep required, Marlo starts to bond with Tully giving her a chance to talk to an adult about life as she gets to deal with the problems she has with her son Jonah (Fallica).
Thoughts on Tully
Characters – Marlo is a wife and mother, she is about to have her third child, she knows the workload that is coming her way with this one, only this time she is dealing with a child that in Jonah that has attention problems on top of the baby. She is lacking adult interaction which she gets with the night nanny, who shows her reflecting her younger life, making it happy and sad at the same time. This does show us just how difficult motherhood is going to be through the eyes of this character. Tully is the night nanny, she is younger full of energy, she will look after the baby during the night, while giving Marlo the conversation she requires in her life. Drew is the husband that is working a lot, he does help out afterwork an is willing to help Marlo. Jonah is the son that is having problems with growing up, the doctors can’t figure out what is wrong with him, he is loved by his parents, though they are struggling with his quirks.
Performances – Charlize Theron is wonderful in the leading role here, she commits to this role showing us just how difficult motherhood can be for any woman. Mackenzie Davis is great to watch too, she brings the energy to this role which shows us just how a younger person can deal with commitments others have. Ron Livingston does everything he needs to him the supporting role, with everybody in the film fitting their roles with ease.
Story – The story here shows just how difficult motherhood can be, we see how one woman gets help from a night nurse which does breed new life into her, helping her find her smile again, being able to cope with the added commitments of a third child in her life. In the story we do get to look at some of the real moments in motherhood, other films will have shied away from, it has moments that show the persona connection between the mother and child. We do get to see how adults with child do need conversation in life and once a baby has arrived it can be difficult to get those moments. We do see moments of how difficult raising a child that has learning difficulties can be, though we don’t get enough time on that side of the story, which does feel important when certain parts of the story are revealed.
Comedy/Mystery – If we look at the comedy in this film, we get to see moments that will give us a laugh, they do work well without being sent up jokes, more funny moments in life. The mystery does come from the life Tully lives away from the night nurse, with Marlo wondering how she can do everything else too.
Settings – The film keep the settings simple because we stay inside the house which shows how limited the life of a new mother can have, while we do see how the two different schools try to deal with Jonah.
Final Thoughts – This is a wonderful look at motherhood and just how difficult it can be, with wonderful performances from the whole cast and a story that goes in a direction you wouldn’t imagine it going.
Overall: Motherhood the truth.