Tully (2018)


Directed by Jason Reitman
Country: USA

In Jason Reitman’s slow-burning “Tully”, Charlize Theron plays Marlo, an exhausted mother of three who goes through a middle-age crisis related to her most recent conception. Moreover, her quirky son Jonah needs a one-to-one aid but the school doesn’t pay for that service and the complaints about him seem to increase every day. Depressed and overwhelmed, her life changes for the better when her brother Craig (Mark Duplass) gets her an efficient if weird night nanny. Her name is Tully (Mackenzie Davis), an extravagant creature that soon forges an atypical bond with her employer, which can be either reparative or destructive. 

All of a sudden, Marlo is calmer, less stressed and confident. She even hangs out with Tully in her old neighborhood in Bushwick, Brooklyn; and weirder than that, she deviates her from the regular tasks to sexually stimulate her husband Drew (Ron Livingston), who has a fetish for women in 1950s diner waitress uniforms. 


The night they go out starts with an amusing drive at the sound of Cindy Lauper, but becomes severely toxic when they arrive at an underground club and the drunk Marlo jumps in sync with clangorous heavy-metal rhythms and then endures pain due to engorged breasts. However, that pain was infinitesimal when compared to the afflicting news that Tully is quitting. 

This time, Reitman’s first-call writer Diablo Cody, who successfully penned “Juno” and “Young Adult”, couldn't guarantee him a favorable outcome. Playing with the tricks of the mind, “Tully” feels more contrived than astute, having the skilled group of actors working hard to avoid further damage. 


Atomic Blonde (2017)

Directed by David Leitch
Country: USA / other

Actor/producer Charlize Theron embodies a sexy, unemotional, and methodical MI6 agent in “Atomic Blonde”, a spy action thriller set in Berlin during the Cold War era and directed by David Leitch, uncredited co-director of “John Wick”. The film co-stars James McAvoy, Eddie Marsan, John Goodman, and Toby Jones.

Written by Kurt Johnstad, the script was inspired by Antony Johnston and Sam Hart's 2012 graphic novel "The Coldest City", but the natural strength of the occurrences described in the book failed to be fully passed to the big screen.

Lorraine Broughton (Theron) recalls an eventful Berliner mission that served to retrieve an important list containing the names of all double agents operating in the Soviet Union. She's being submitted to a tight interrogation led by Eric Gray (Jones), her superior, and Emmett Kurzfeld (Goodman), a CIA agent working with the MI6. As she talks, her story is reconstructed visually to include not only the mischievous collaboration with Percival (McAvoy), a cunning agent and snitch who secretly passes to the side of Brenovych (Roland Møller), a crude arms dealer and KGB associate, but also the lesbian relationship with the seductive French informer Delphine (Sofia Boutella) and the necessity to escort and protect Spyglass (Marsan), a former Stasi agent who having memorized all the names on the coveted list, became an easy target for the Russian clan.

Although throwing dynamic punches with avidness when not sharing hot moments with her lover, our heroine needed to be characterized with a bit more charisma and style to captivate and turn us into unconditional supporters. Despite a few periods where the film literally gets stranded in muddy waters, the last section becomes substantially more convincing and slightly more thrilling than the previous. At least we had some more psychological tension around instead of the uninventive physical fights.

Atomic Blonde” is moderately violent, widely familiar, and boasts a fantastic retro soundtrack that may trigger some nostalgia. The final revelations, almost functioning as an antidote for the mechanical processes adopted by Leitch, piqued a small amount of curiosity until the final credits roll. Notwithstanding, its title won’t be considered as an unmissable spy flick because the story loses emotional grip with the routines succeeding one another without novelty or originality.