Mommy Dearest (Film Thoughts: Tully)

tulllI am obviously not a mother, so I had doubts as to whether I could relate to ‘Tully.’  And I was kind of right, since I was watching the film with a bit of indifference. For me, it felt just a little too ordinary, although I admit the situation probably feels extraordinary to someone who is experiencing it. I was going to write the film off as just one of those women movies – no offense, but just not for me. Then there comes that twist at the end – it’s sly and will catch you by surprise, like a train that just knocks you over and you think, ‘did that just happen,’ and you realize it just did.

That’s the brilliance of this film – it catches you by surprise. It had that element of tender shock and I left the theater thinking about it, trying to explain it to myself, asking myself what the whole thing really meant. And I am even more in awe of Charlize Theron as an actress – this woman is fearless and I curiously have not really seen her in a lot of things. I know I saw ‘Young Adult’ but for the life of me don’t remember anything about it. But she is unforgettable here, as Marlo, who goes down and dirty as a mother of two as she goes through giving birth to her third. Marlo is stressed, frustrated, but her character never really feels entitled or unsympathetic, and Theron injects Marlo with a down-to-earth sense of humor that further grounds the character. You may not truly love her, but you understand her. When Marlo gets a night nanny (Mackenzie Davis) you do kind of wonder, is there such a thing? But then the situation just sucks you into it instantly, and well, I won’t want to put any more spoilers but suffice it to say, teh nanny becomes an important part of the film, and Marlo’s life.

I recommend this, and sad to see it really hasn’t done very well at the box-office. I guess this kind of film really is difficult to market. I bet, though, that it will find its audience. You just have to give it a chance.