Tully unfolds surprisingly fast, it doesn’t dwell for too long. No sooner you watch Marlo, an exhausted mother of three with another on the way, tackle the authorities over her son with learning difficulties become overwrought nursing mother to then bestie with her new night nanny.
Theron, as Marlo, is exceptional. She is both tough and soft, and on top of everything else, it’s hard to understand why she lets her there-but-not-there husband Drew (Ron Livingston) carry on the way he does. He dutifully asks each night how Marlo’s doing, then dons the headset to continue his video game. It’s Marlo we see getting up during the night to nurse and change baby Mia and rock her back to sleep. Her brother’s suggestion to get help initially falls on deaf ears but soon Tully the night nanny (Mackenzie Davis captivates), arrives. Working only through the night so Marlo can sleep, Tully cleans, bakes, counsels and even helps invigorate Marlo and Drew’s sex life. This is the shot in the arm Marlo’s craved. She rejoices with new energy and the close bond between her and Tully celebrates female friendship.
Described by some as a comedy – both Marlo and Tully do provide the brevity that stops this film being too dramatic – there’s a serious story underlined here. The twist that comes in the last few moments, sharpens the lens on what Marlo is truly dealing with.
Penned by Oscar-winning scribe of Juno, Diablo Cody prods a lot of themes: self-love, female love, marriage, creation of life, relationships, and not least, motherhood. It’s certainly not heavy, but will linger with you long after.
Directed by: Jason Reitman
Written by: Diablo Cody
Stars: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass, Ron Livingston