A mother of three hires a night nanny to help with her newborn.
Where: Duke’s @ Komedia
When: Monday 7th May
Who with: Alone
Snacks: Cawston Press Rhubarb, homemade fish finger sandwich from home
*Like, seriously – be careful*
*Don’t say you haven’t been warned!*
Ah, Tully. It’s been a couple of weeks since I saw this and it’s followed me around quite a bit. I already knew I’d enjoy the movie given the premise and the cast but the ‘twist’ just adds another layer of thoughtfulness, and in my opinion elevates it from a nice film to a very good one.
The titular Tully (Davis) is a night nanny, hired by Marlo’s (Theron) brother Craig (Mark Duplass) as a gift to help her out. Marlo has a new-born and two young children including Jonah, a child with extra special needs. While Marlo isn’t a single mother, her husband Drew (Livingston) does work away from home a lot and could perhaps lift his finger a bit more regularly to help her out.
Reluctant at first to accept this outside assistance, Marlo eventually enlists Tully’s help with the night shifts. Which proves to be a genius move because not only does the nanny come with a broad knowledge of what the baby needs, she can also intuit what Marlo requires and slowly but surely Marlo claws her way back to the mother she wants to be.
The women form a solid bond and this doesn’t hurt Marlo at all – but when Tully announces that she has to leave, Marlo is panicked and feels abandoned by her new friend. Will her world implode without Tully’s support or does Marlo have everything she needs within her already?
The central performances are glorious and relatable (even as a non-mum). The pressure to be anything as a woman (a good mum/a career girl/good wife/young/beautiful/well-behaved) is so exhausting and also impossible to achieve. No one person can be all these things and even if they were, they’d feel they were failing in some way.
Marlo can only look back and focus on all the things she hasn’t achieved, the friends she left behind when she left the city to start her family – and who doesn’t think that way? When Tully points out that she’s already made her own dreams come true Marlo is shocked and unbelieving, even thought it’s the truth.
Honestly, I’m very happy that Mackenzie Davis is growing such a strong profile, she’s never let me down and is also part of the most amazing slice of popular culture this decade (San Junipero). So I’m looking forward to seeing her in loads more films. Here she has to share her scenes with Charlize Theron and she’s just as magnetic and beautiful. The chemistry between the two is so believable and pure, I almost resent the scenes that focus away from their friendship.
Ultimately, Tully is about making peace with the past and asking for help. It’s beautiful and sad and deeply relatable and I really loved it.