Tully

Year: 2018
Directed By: Jason Reitman
Cast: Charlize Theron, Mark Duplass, Ron Livingston, Mackenzie Davis

Written by Fiona Underhill

This is going to be a hard review for me to write because I felt this film on a deeply personal level and objectivity is going out of the window. I do think this film will be viewed by those who have experienced motherhood (yes, not parenthood) in a very different way to those who haven’t.

‘Tully’ is director Jason Reitman’s third collaboration with writer Diablo Cody (after ‘Juno’ and ‘Young Adult’) and his second with Charlize Theron (‘Young Adult’). Reitman has been something of an uneven writer-director and usually quite divisive with critics. I have generally been a fan of his work and he does seem to have been particularly successful when teamed with Cody.

Tully follows Marlo (Theron) after the birth of her third child. Her rich brother Craig (Mark Duplass) suggests Marlo and her husband Drew (one of my favourite actors; Ron Livingston) get a ‘night nanny’ – someone to come in at night and help with the baby so the parents can get some rest. This seems a flawed idea to me, if the mother is breast-feeding, but the realism of the situation kind of isn’t the point of the film. Marlo eventually caves and hires Tully (another one of my favourites; Mackenzie Davis) and finds a new lease of life, waking up to a clean kitchen and freshly-baked cupcakes.

Theron has had quite a year; with the successfulAtomic Blonde and the pretty woeful ‘Gringo’. Tully is another physical transformation for her (which led to her Oscar success with ‘Monster’) although I’m not sure how much is prosthetics here. It is an incredible performance, quite apart from the physical side. Theron effectively communicates a mother barely holding it together, despite the pressures from her kids’ school and comparing herself to her perfect brother. I adore Mackenzie Davis. She has given some great performances on TV in ‘Halt & Catch Fire’ and ‘Black Mirror’ (San Junipero) and in rom-coms ‘That Awkward Moment’ and ‘What If’ and she is equally fantastic here. The dynamics between the two women as they form a close bond is at the heart of this film, and they have great chemistry.

All I can say is that the details that Cody and Reitman have captured of motherhood (especially of having a newborn baby) are painfully real and relatable. I cried several times during the film, as Marlo was doused in a juice cup, dealt with tantrums from her older children and examined her postnatal body. The house was recognisable as a real, lived-in house and her relationship with her husband felt  authentic also. It is rare to find a film that you feel speaks to your experience so accurately and for this reason, I was pretty destroyed by the end.

The plot does not go in a predictable direction, for a film dealing with a young, attractive nanny coming into the home of a older couple. Despite managing to avoid all Infinity War spoilers before seeing it, I did have ‘Tully’ spoiled for me on Twitter and this did affect my experience of watching the film. The ending will not be to everyone’s taste and I can also see people having an issue with the depiction of mental health in the film. However, there are not many films that have touched on the madness-inducing exhaustion of having a newborn or on postnatal depression – topics that it’s important we discuss as a society.

It’s difficult to say much more about this film without spoiling it and I do recommend that you go in knowing as little as possible. As I have said, I believe you will find this a very different experience depending on how much you can relate to Marlo. For me, it was an extremely well written and well acted film that spoke to me on a deeply personal level. But, I can fully understand other people not getting the same things from it. I also think the ending will prove controversial and will colour your view of the film as a whole. Definitely worth seeing, so you can make up your own mind!

FIONA’S RATING:

4

 

Advertisements

Charlize Theron Meets Her Nanny In ‘Tully’ Teaser Trailer

“Marlo, a mother of three including a newborn, is gifted a night nanny by her brother. Hesitant to the extravagance at first, Marlo comes to form a unique bond with the thoughtful, surprising, and sometimes challenging young nanny named Tully.”

Directed By: Jason Reitman

Cast: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Ron Livingston

Release Date: 20th April 2018

Movies That Taught Me Valuable Lessons

Written by Dalton Brown

I had originally planned to make a list of films which inspired me in some way, or changed the way I look at movies in general. However, whilst making the list, I found that I wasn’t enjoying myself as much I probably should have been. Now, I’m still making a list of sorts, but I’m doing it in a non-traditional way; rather fitting for a list which credits the films that have changed my life in some way. This list is more specifically about some of the movies that taught me valuable life lessons and movies that taught me to look at things differently; to be more open-minded. So without further ado, let us begin.


spring breakers

Believe it or not, I wasn’t always that big a movie fan. Even more surprising, that all changed when I saw ‘Spring Breakers’ (2012); that’s the one that changed how I look at movies. It also got me into the arthouse/independent genre of film. Now, ‘Spring Breakers’ is pretty much what the title would suggest – a group of girls go on spring break. Then they get in to some trouble and that’s when they meet James Franco’s character, Alien; otherwise known as one of the best characters ever put on screen, in my opinion. Anyway, he helps them out of trouble only to get them into more trouble. And that is the plot in a nutshell. 

The reason why I love ‘Spring Breakers’ as much as I do is because of Alien, honestly. Plus, there’s a lot of nostalgia tied to that film for me as well. To describe the way this film changed my perspective on film in general is not an easy task, and I’m honestly not exactly sure. I just remember seeing it for the first time and being floored by just how amazing it was. The “OFF” switch in the movie section of my mind suddenly tripped to the “ON” position and the rest is history. From that moment on, I was aware that movies are more than just mindless fun, they’re art.


 

Under-the-Skin1

Following in the same vein as ‘Spring Breakers’ is the creepy sci-fi flick ‘Under the Skin’ (2013), starring Scarlett Johansson. This is another film that made me realise that movies are indeed art, and also how unimportant dialogue is, showing me the value of visual storytelling. Lastly, ‘Under The Skin’ taught me the importance of having an imagination, and I cannot thank this crazy film enough for that.


inside-out

Switching gears here, and breaking in to the more recent past, Disney’s ‘Inside Out’ (2015) impacted me way more than I thought it would. Ironically, this clever animated film made me want to give up reviewing movies altogether, because I didn’t want to scrutinise ‘Inside Out’ as much as I do with most other movies; I just wanted to enjoy it for what it was. Since then, I have learned how to figuratively “turn my brain off” with some movies, and I am perfectly fine with that. Some movies are meant to be enjoyed, not analysed.


500 days of summer

With just a couple more films to go, the beautifully tragic ‘500 Days of Summer’ (2009) taught me to never give up. It also taught me that the person you’re with should make you happy, and if it becomes a struggle, then maybe they’re not the person for you. It also taught me that rom-coms can indeed be good (I know this is technically a film about a lack of romance, but non-rom-com doesn’t sound as catchy).


os1

Lastly, there’s ‘Office Space’ (1999). After watching ‘Office Space’, I just wanted to be Ron Livingston’s character, Peter. So I did just that. I became more relaxed and I started doing what made me happy. I’ve felt better than ever since I’ve made that change, so I owe a huge debt to this sardonic comedy movie.


This list could go on forever, but I’ll stop here. I’ll be honest, I don’t really know what the point of this list is to those of you reading it, as this is a very personal list. But the more I think about it, the more I think that the point of movies is that they affect everyone in a different way. Movies are more important than they might seem to be on the surface; every movie, even the worst of the worst, has something to teach us.

What movies have affected your life and inspired or taught you something? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter @JumpCutUK or speak to Dalton directly @judgmentalnerd