Blu-ray Review: Tully

STUDIO: Universal | DIRECTOR: Jason Reitman | CAST: Charlize Theron, Ron Livingston, MacKenzie Davis, Mark Duplass
RELEASE DATE: July 31, 2018 | PRICE: DVD $17.96, Blu-ray $22.99
BONUSES: featurette
SPECS: ? | 95 min. | Drama comedy | 1.85:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/Dolby Digital 5.1 | English, French and Spanish ubtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio | Video  | Overall

A return of sorts to form for director Jason Reitman following the disappointing Labor Day (2013) and Man, Woman and Children (2014), Tully offers an intriguing and compelling take on motherhood before it takes an unsettling, fantastical and baffling turn in its final third.

In this original story from screenwriter Diablo Cody, Reitman’s Oscar-winning collaborator on Juno, Charlize Theron (Young Adult, another Reitman/Cody collaboration) plays Marlo, a pregnant mother of two on maternity leave. Despite nominal help from husband Drew (Ron Livingston, Lucky), Marlo is overwhelmed by her daily chores, so with some help from her wealthy brother (Mark Duplass, Safety Not Guaranteed) she hires a night nanny named Tully (MacKenzie Davis, What If), whose free-spirited ways of doing things impacts Marlo.

Until the character Tully enters the picture, the film poignantly and wittily focuses on the challenges of motherhood, and how Marlo, played memorably by the versatile Theron (working with a reported 50 pounds of added weight) deals with them. Cody’s quick quips amidst darkly humorous mothering situations make this part of the picture unique and appealing. But with the entrance of the Tully character, Reitman and Cody push the film in a different direction that is confusing at first, then asks a lot of an audience to accept.

That said, Tully carries with it something to talk about as it enters the ancillary markets, which can only help boost the film that stalled just short of $10 million at the box-office following good reviews and positive pre-release talk.

Buy or Rent Tully

About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.