“Tully" is the third collaboration between writer Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman (both known as the team behind “Juno” and “Young Adult”) and stars Charlize Theron as Marlo, a mother of three who forms a bond with the eccentric night nanny, Tully. This adult-Marry Poppins drama is some of the duo’s funniest and most mature work to date. It's very reminiscent of mumblecore, in how it approaches the subject matter in a very subdued, “slice-of-life” way, without any major conflict or deep storyline, however what makes it shine is Cody’s signature dialogue. The audience was laughing hysterically at points, as “Tully” pokes fun at the joys and stress that comes with modern parenting.
To elevate this are two knock-out performances, the first being from Charlize Theron, who bares all as the fatigued mother, Marlo. But the real stand-out comes from Mackenzie Davis (who recently starred in Black Mirror’s "San Junipero") as the night-nanny named “Tully”. Despite being a relative newcomer, Davis is already proving herself to be one of the most charismatic and versatile young actresses working today. When the two are on-screen, it’s movie-magic.
While the film starts to become a tad repetitive, constantly cutting between scenes of Marlo struggling to raise her children, as her bond with Tully strengthens, there’s a moment in the final act that serves as an amalgamation of all the film’s themes into one giant metaphor. It left me thinking for a while on the drive home back to Tampa, and came as a pleasant surprise.
Despite not reaching the heights of the duo’s previous collaboration, Young Adult, “Tully” is a heartfelt and enjoyable little film with two great performances and some nice food for thought.
“Tully" will be released by Focus Features in theaters, May 4th.