PARK CITY, UTAH — Thursday’s Sundance lineup included a last-minute, semi-secret screening of “Tully,” from director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody.
The duo behind “Juno” and “Younger Grownup” was readily available to introduce their third collaboration, which stars Charlize Theron (additionally of “Younger Grownup”) as a frazzled mom of two younger youngsters and a new child, whose rich brother (Mark Duplass) gives to pay for an evening nanny (Mackenzie Davis) for the child.
This mild comedy, already slated for an April launch, veers even additional afield from Cody’s linguistic gymnastics in “Juno,” and makes nice use of Theron in a slightly uncharacteristically weak position (at the very least, in comparison with her steel-nerved outings in “Atomic Blonde,” “The Destiny of the Livid” and “Mad Max: Fury Highway”).
Her Marlo is a former Bushwick loft-dwelling hipster who married (her workaholic husband’s performed by Ron Livingston), moved to the suburbs, had three children and now finds herself sleepwalking by means of life. Her younger son’s acquired vaguely outlined behavioral issues, and the brand new child has her performing an countless, deadening montage of kid care. (One mother of three within the viewers gave props to the duo, calling their portrayal scarily correct.)
Theron, sporting darkish circles beneath the eyes and a flabby post-pregnancy stomach, attracts you into her existential ennui — however there’s at all times a vein of Cody’s snappy humor working beneath, paired with a fierce maternal protecting intuition. When advised her son is simply too “quirky” to operate in his present faculty, Marlo snaps, “Do I’ve a child or a f – – king ukulele?”
Reitman directs with an empathy and appreciation for mothering that by no means shies away from its darker aspect: One scene that sees Marlo by accident dropping her iPhone on the child was apparently drawn from a number of of his mother buddies’ anecdotes, and there’s a fully bottomless exhaustion in the best way Theron breathes, “It’s such a blessing,” whereas gesturing to her nine-months-pregnant abdomen.
Enter Davis, a vibrant mild in all the things she’s performed (“Halt and Catch Hearth,” “Blade Runner 2049”), as Tully, the wide-eyed and boundlessly enthusiastic night time nurse who gently shoos Marlo off to mattress as she takes the child into her care. All of a sudden, “it’s like I can see shade once more,” says Marlo after sleeping by means of the night time for the primary time in ages.
As Tully teaches Marlo the artwork of self-care — and, in a single amusing scene, the significance of taking note of her husband in mattress — you start to fret Marlo’s getting completely too hooked up to an individual whose position is to pop in when most wanted and depart after a couple of weeks.
The movie’s decision is greatest left seen for your self, however Theron and Davis are an inspiring casting pairing that’ll have you ever hoping they work collectively once more quickly.
Answering viewers questions after the screening, Cody — a mom of three who lives in L.A. — mentioned she’d lengthy wished to write down concerning the intersection of financial standing and parenting.
“I meet individuals who say ‘Oh, I feel it’s really easy to be a mother,’” she mentioned, “and I’m like, ‘Yeah, since you’re a freaking billionaire!’”