May 4, 2018 95 minutes R

A thoughtful exploration of both motherhood and adulthood that sinks in deep.

Jason Reitman’s 2018 drama ‘Tully‘ shines brilliantly. A delightfully twisted treatise on motherhood. A poignant tale reflecting on the dreams we leave behind as we mature and the often elusive benefits we gain in return. Sublime.

Marlo (Charlize Theron) is about to have her third child. With her husband (Ron Livingston) focused on work and her already daily challenges in raising an “atypical” son she’s reaching a breaking point.

Her rich a-hole brother (Mark Duplass) offers Marlo the services of a “night nanny” to attend to the newborn as her mother sleeps. She’s reluctant, at first. But, after one too many sleepless nights she finally caves. In comes Tully (Mackenzie Davis) to the rescue.

This isn’t the film you think it is. Working off another Diablo Cody script (‘Young Adult’) Reitman and Theron ensure that beneath the dark comedy and everyday life drama is an undercurrent of guarded self-awareness. It’s as though these filmmakers have shed any lingering youthful pretension and now embrace adulthood and all its ironic truths.

Theron is a supercharged force as this maxed out, yet fiercely committed middle-aged mother. Pushing both her body and emotional performance to their transformative limits. And Davis is pure radiance as the terminally young “Tully“. These two maintain a soulful chemistry that transcends the hauntingly perverse revelation during the last act.

I promise this is not some awkward cringe dramedy, nor some cheap slasher horror masquerade. ‘Tully‘ is simply a true to life tale told with matured honesty, dark-comedic flair, and a piercing twist.


Tight direction, piercing and honest performances, and an unnervingly insightful script draws us in. A breathless twist right at the end slams home some inescapable truths about life as an adult.

About the Author
Chad Schulz