Tully is a raw and honest portrait on the hardships of motherhood, backed by a powerful performance by the great Charlize Theron.
Parenthood is hard and Tully helps shed light to those hidden realities. Yes, being a parent is a blessing, as you help and watch your child grow into this modern world of ours. But, there can also be extreme trials that comes with it. In Tully, we see this through Charlize Theron’s character of a mother who is struggling with postpartum depression after giving birth to her third child. It’s a raw, but a sincere approach to this tough material. Director Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air and Young Adult) is no stranger to dealing with these kinds of harsh realities. He hits it head-on in the film, but also crafts the subject matter with a gentle touch. This also marks the fourth collaboration between Reitman and script writer Diablo Cody, following Juno (2007), Jennifer's Body (2009) and Young Adult (2011).
So, Marlo (a strong Theron) is now a mother of three including her newborn, when she and her husband (Ron Livingston) are gifted with a night nanny by her brother (Mark Duplass). Marlo is hesitant at first but comes to form a unique bond with the new nanny named Tully (a wonderful Mackenzie Davis). Marlo sees her younger self through Tully, as the two form an endless friendship. Tully is only 26, but seems to anticipate Marlo's every need. It's Tully who gets up at night to care for the baby, only requiring Marlo to awake for breastfeeding. It's Tully who bakes fresh goodies for the kids to take to school and cleans the entire house at night. If mom has issues with baby weight or her sex drive is off, Tully offers her advise on both matters. "She'll grow a little overnight," Tully says to the newborn, named Mia. "And so will we." "You're like a book of fun facts for unpopular fourth graders," Marlo exclaims!
Together; these two actresses are dynamite and their acting will cut you deep by the final third act. Tully helps Marlo move forward in life as she battles the balancing act of life, kids and depression. It is also in the final act when her husband, Drew, finally wakes up and when realizes that his wife is emotionally and physically drained. Drew seemed to take the out-of-touch approach when his newest daughter was born. A lesson that shows how important communication is and how parenting is a two-person job. Many in a conservative society throw all of these pressures and responsibilities onto the wives, while the husbands mindlessly tune out the world through other activities. Like Drew did with his video games. This is a mindset I know that, and will strive to never fall into, when my wife and I start our family one day.
It’s more than breaking those social norms, it’s about being there for your wife, partner or significant other at all times. It’s about equalness between the two, something my wife and I strive to do in our marriage. We are equal and we are on this journey together. More reasons why I admired this movie because it was a real look at modern parenthood with a clear message. In doing so, Tully also broke down multiple barriers still hindering certain aspects of our conservative society. Both Glynis and I really enjoyed this movie. It was a deft blend of dark humor and bleak honesty through the lens of a bona fide mother. In the end, this is a film that packs in a punch. It will leave you and your partner talking hours on end about these types of hardships awaiting in the near future and how to tackle them together.
Tully is rated R (Restricted). For language and some sexuality/nudity.