In 'Tully,' a rare close-up of postnatal motherhood

Every mom needs an escape.

Marlo and the nocturnal free spirit (Mackenzie Davis) who turns up on her doorstep form an intense bond as Tully swiftly sets the struggling mum's house in order. She has to call her kids a "blessing" because that's what loving moms do. "But for some reason, I just was not myself after having [my son]". Of night she says, "That's the downside of living on a planet with a short solar day". While she had seen many depictions of the so-called "control-freak mom" in movies and TV, she wanted to explore "the other side of that coin, which is a mom who is so distracted and underwater that she accidentally bangs the baby's auto seat into the wall or drops her phone on the baby while she's changing her diaper". Initially, Marlo resents the hell out of this gesture, which she views as a slur on her motherhood, so she shuns the gift and tries to go it alone.

"I have the utmost respect for mums, and we don't give mums enough credit", she shared on breakfast show Good Morning America. It just came at a really bad time.

Vanity aside, Theron has been very open about how long it took for her to take off the weight, drawing the ire of the Internet for lamenting how much harder it was for the statuesque blonde to drop the pounds at 42 than it was at 27, when she first gained weight for Monster. But when August arrived, "you're doing the same thing, and on top of that, you have to be a real person to this (other) little human who can talk and is expecting things from you". Producing became something I liked. But you don't have to be a parent to enjoy Tully.

Theron and Davis make a winning double act, and the older woman is touchingly awestruck by the younger one's confidence, fearlessness and especially her slimness. We are introduced to her other two who are hard to handle, as well as her husband Drew (Ron Livingston) who like so many other spouses, is unaware of the burden placed on their wives especially when the children are so close in age.

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Not only did the Monster Oscar victor struggle with her latest physical transformation, it also affected her emotional health.

Charlize Theron attends the "Tully" Los Angeles Premiere, April 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. But then you wrap and go home, and I have small kids to take care of. Craig likes to throw his money around, and he offers to pay for a night nanny so that Marlo can get more sleep. "I couldn't leave this character because my body was just dictating where my mind was and how my moods were". As more and more time passes though, Marlo begins to realize that in many ways she has as much to teach Tully about self-care and loving herself as Tully has to teach her.

"A lot of people are making a big deal because I gained all this weight for the film and (saying) how "brave" that is, and I'm like, 'Do you know that mums do this every day and nobody calls them courageous?'". "Me gaining weight for the movie - it's hard when somebody's like, 'Wow, that's really fearless!' Moms do this all the time and we don't call them courageous".

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Theron said she still appreciates advice given by her own mother today. But their next film, Young Adult (2011), with Theron as a narcissistic author in need of ideas, soured the mix. "At one point, I just lost it and my mom started giggling". Her flabby body is slumped in a chair, and she's got bags under her eyes and greasy hair.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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