In a performance which has never been better Charlize Theron welcomes audiences to ‘Motherhood: 2018’ in Tully an extremely moving piece of cinema that gripped me from beginning to end and which rightfully belongs on the list of the year’s best releases.
Marlo (Charlize Theron) is a New York suburbanite who’s about to give birth to her third child. Her husband, Ron (Ron Livingstone), is loving and works hard, but remains clueless about the demands that motherhood puts on his wife. When the baby is born, Marlo’s wealthy brother hires a nighttime nanny named Tully (Mackenzie Davis) to help his sister handle the workload. Hesitant at first, Marlo soon learns to appreciate all that Tully does — forming a special bond with her new, lifesaving friend.
Anytime you see the pairing of Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody you should start to get excited. The pair created magic with Juno and Young Adult and they continue this with their latest release.
Offering a raw and unflinching look at modern motherhood, Tully is a film that is equal parts loving and confronting at the same time. Cody documents both the love and the struggles of the modern day mother in unflinching detail and her clever narrative weaves in and out keeping audiences guessing at every turn.
While I can’t go into detail about the film’s narrative without risking any type of SPOILER, I will say that I was completely mesmerised by this film and kept wanting to know what happened next. This style of filmmaking is the result of a pair of master artists at work and along with it’s rich cinematography and artful soundtrack, Tully is a film that really touches on your senses.
Charlize Theron is rightly so one of the best actresses working in Hollywood today and her turn in Tully is one of complete commitment to her craft. Along with gaining fifty pounds of weight to portray a post-pregnancy Marlo she is most often seen as tired and worn out having been put through the ringer with raising three children, along with being married to a distant husband who loves her dearly, but has little knowledge of how to show it. The word honest is the best way to describe her performance and when she is not trying to stay awake and feed her new born infant she’s either binging the latest episode of Gigolos or trying to imagine what her life could have been.
That is until the spark of the carefree and flamboyant night nurse named Tully comes into her life and Marlo’s life begins to change of the better. This spark is provided by Mackenzie Davis who is simply a joy to watch on-screen and who is the light in Marlo’s darkest hour. Both Davis and Theron make a great pair of screen and complement each other well as both actresses and characters and watching them together is an engaging experience.
Tully truly is the complete package and I was very impressed with what was delivered on screen. Narrative, characters, cinematography and music all combined for a picture that was truly magnificent and which will end up on my top five list for 2018 for sure.
I implore you to go and see this film right away and to let its message wash over you which ultimately says that no matter what obstacle you might face there’s always something to be grateful for and sometimes all you need in life is to find your spark.
Image: Studio Canal NZ