REVIEW: Tully – the movie every mother (and father) must see!

10 May 2018

A wonderfully honest portrayal of motherhood

Every mother has her own unique motherhood story to tell. It will be one of many highs yet also some incredibly low lows. But in a world where motherhood is still glossed over, comes a movie that shines a light on the raw, honest and heartbreaking struggles of everyday mums.

Tully is the latest comedy-drama film from director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody - the duo that brought us Juno (2007), Jennifer's Body (2009) and Young Adult (2011).

The movie tells the story of Marlo (Charlize Theron), a struggling mother of three whose concerned brother gifts her a night nanny to help with her newborn baby. Called Tully, (Mackenzie Davis), the night nanny brings support, wisdom and an insightful perspective to Marlo’s world.

Charlize Theron’s portrayal of everyday motherhood is seriously outstanding, and mums young and old will smile, groan, and shed a tear in support of her daily struggles. From the judgemental comments in the coffee shop and the spilt breast milk, to the challenges of a simple car trip and the despondent emptiness and mourning for whom she once was.

I can’t think of the last time I watched a movie and felt I really connected with the character on screen the way I did with Marlo. Every step of her daily life I found myself nodding with her, my heart breaking with her. The exhaustion, the repetition, the disconnect from the real world the wondering WTF happened whilst still being all consumed by the little lives you are now responsible for.

The fact Charlize Theron gained over 20kgs to play the role made it even more genuine, because she was there with the same wobbly bits, the same frustrations and lack of time for self-care that many mums face.

This honest and candid approach to maternal mental health is refreshing to see coming out of Hollywood. There’s no explosions, no amazing special effects, no beautiful Hollywood stars. Instead, it’s a funny, dark and genuine portrayal of a life that many mothers live every day.

With funny one-liners that strike at the hearts of every mum who has gone through the newborn days, it is a movie that will connect mums the world over.

“Girls don’t heal. We might look like we do but if you look closely we are covered in concealer.”

As someone who really struggled with the transition to motherhood, and who still has many days like Marlo, I think it’s wonderful to see this world being understood for a moment.

Maternal mental health is still something that many mums don’t like to talk about. But hopefully movies like this will make it more acceptable to reach out when you need it. And that we really don’t need to do this alone.

Tully is out in cinemas from Thursday 10th May.



Written by

Angela Sutherland

After spending over 20 years on the editorial desks of some the leading magazine publishing houses of London and Sydney, Angela swapped the city frenzy for a Queensland sea change. Now owner and editor of Kids on the Coast and Kids in the City, she loves spending her days documenting and travelling the crazy road of family life alongside every mum and dad. 

When she’s not at her desk buried in magazine stories, you’ll often find her entrenched in a heated game of beach cricket, or being utterly outrun by her inventive seven-year-old and rambunctious threenager.

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