Friday, May 4, 2018

Tully [2018]

MPAA (R)  CNS/USCCB (L) (3 1/2 Stars)  AVClub (A-)  Fr. Dennis (2 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
Los Angeles Times (J. Chang) review (C. Lemire) review
AVClub (J. Hassenger) review

Tully [2018] (directed by Jason Reitman, screenplay by Diablo Cody) is a contemporary (and somewhat / rather God-less...) motherhood drama starring Charlize Theron playing Margo a late 30-something married mother of two (the second, already somewhat special needs) who at the beginning of the film is about to give birth to a third child.

Needless to say, she has _a lot_ on her plate.  Hubby, Drew (played by Ron Livingston), himself is tired, probably from work, and certainly uncomprehending, playing "Call of Duty" like first-person shooter video-games from their bed as he waits for her to make it there (after finishing the last chores of her daily routine and bedding down everybody else) at night.

Older (and wealthier) brother Craig (played by Mark Duplass) suggests to Margo that she get a "night nanny" after the third one is born, and offers to pay to the expense if only she'd call the service he suggests.  Initially, Margo responds with eye-rolling disdain: "I love MY kids.  I'm not going to let some stranger do my work for me / bond with my kids in a way that I should."  But a month and half after giving birth, and remember she's in her late 30s, hence no longer a spring chicken, Margo decides, "why not?" and 26 year old "night nanny" Tully (played by Mackenzie Davis) comes on the scene and ... much in an updated (And R-rated..) Mary Poppins [1964] / Maria of Sound of Music [1965] sort of way ensues.

The 26 year old is "wise" but above all reminds Margo of herself when she was 26 and her life was still just endless possibility.  For her part, Tully tries to remind Margo: "Despite what you may think sometimes, you've SUCCEEDED.  You've succeeded in creating a stable 'boring life' for yourself with people who depend on you. YOU SHOULD BE PROUD."  (In this regard, one could ask oneself if Tully is "real" or simply a voice inside Margo which tries to encourage her in a rather challenging time in her life).

However, there are people missing in this narrative.  There are no (grand)parents, no in-laws, no church.   Hence it all does seem rather lonely / overwhelming.

But perhaps with th(os)e others it need not be...

A thought provoking but certainly not end-all film on the subject.

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