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Film review: Tully is a tender depiction of motherhood

PUBLISHED: 09:59 28 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:59 28 December 2018

Charlize Theron arriving for the 82nd Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles Picture: IAN WEST/PA WIRE

Charlize Theron arriving for the 82nd Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles Picture: IAN WEST/PA WIRE

Writer Diablo Cody teams up once again with director Jason Reitman for this tale of a stressed mother who befriends the young nanny hired to help with her newborn daughter.

Charlize Theron takes on the lead role of thirty something housewife and mother Marlo doing her best to raise a young daughter and son with behavioural issues whilst also trying to cope with the stresses of a newborn baby.

When the lack sleep gets too much, she is gifted a night nanny by her successful brother and comes to form a unique bond with the thoughtful young carer.

The film is the third collaboration between Cody and Reitman following 2007’s Juno and 2011’s Young Adult which also stared Theron and here the pair deliver a refreshingly honest exploration of the trials faced by new mothers.

The cleverly written script from Cody is arguably her best yet and is chock-full of the razor sharp dialogue which is fast becoming her trademark.

On top of this, the film also features an outstanding performance from Theron.

The Oscar-winning actress gorged on a diet of junk food in order to gain 50 pounds for the role and is thoroughly believable as the exhausted mother at her wits end.

Stuck in the mind numbing, repetitive drudgery of constant housework and school runs, while simultaneously suffering from the complete exhaustion that often comes hand-in-hand with a newborn baby.

The look she gives husband Drew (Ron Livingston) when he returns from work and casually mocks the frozen pizza on offer for dinner is absolute gold.

At the heart of the film is the relationship Marlo strikes up with night nanny Tully – played by rising star Mackenzie Davis.

Following up supporting roles in The Martian and Blade Runner 2049, Davis has a much more substantial part here and shows why she is rated so highly.

Her chemistry with Theron is fantastic and makes for an engaging and thoroughly believable central relationship in the movie.

On the whole, Tully is a tender and charming depiction of motherhood that doesn’t shy away from the struggles faced by many mothers, and also shines much needed light on the under discussed condition of post-natal depression.

Tully is showing at Sudbury Quay Theatre on January 8.

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