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A woman returns to her Orthodox Jewish community that shunned her for her attraction to a female childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality.
On the rocky path to sobriety after a life-changing accident, John Callahan discovers the healing power of art, willing his injured hands into drawing hilarious, often controversial cartoons, which bring him a new lease on life.
The film is about Marlo, a mother of three including a newborn, who is gifted a night nanny by her brother. Hesitant to the extravagance at first, Marlo comes to form a unique bond with the thoughtful, surprising, and sometimes challenging young nanny named Tully.
We're all familiar with the idea of the "duality of man", those two sides of who we are that are counter to each other yet together make up who we are. Tully explores the "duality of woman", specifically the juxtaposing intricacies of what can make someone both a stable mother and simply an older version of their youthful leanings. In that, this movie becomes a rare sort of mumblecore film: one with a purpose. Thematically rich, progressively sweet and artfully entertaining, it's a Reitman-Diablo Cody director-writer collaboration (Juno, Young Adult) that shows a clear growth in both of their crafts.
Theron (with volatile brilliance) plays an overwhelmed mother of three who hires a young, free-spirited night-nanny to help restore some normalcy and rest to her life. Playfully, this dramedy uses horror to show the all-consuming terror of being a parent. It uses action-style editing to reveal the speed with which life passes you by, especially when you start having kids. With cunning self-awareness, it utilizes the "manic-pixie-dream-girl" trope to show our lustful desire for our own past. Throughout, Cody's dialogue beams with hilarious and loving honesty, especially when leaning into the mundanity of family life.
Above all, I don't remember the last time I saw a film so succinctly capture both the freedom and imprisonment of growing old and settling down. Even when the film takes turns toward incredulity, it always finds its way back, supremely interested in the mental state of people experiencing traumatic changes, all while staying as funny as it is potent. A supremely empathetic parental plea, Tully is exactly the crowd-pleasing respite we need in the Thanos-conquered cinema landscape.
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