Tully is a slow paced drama that will find a very limited audience. In fact, it surprises me that it was released in 2002, because you would think that films of this kind would be restricted to television productions, as the audience for this kind of film could only be middle aged women. True, the story circles around three young characters, but it’s not like the film sells this aspect by making it look as if the film as about pretty young things, so therefore it came as no surprise to me that this film had little to no exposure and limited release. In fact, I caught this film late at night on television.
Tully is the story of two brothers, Tully and Earl Coates who live in their father’s ranch in the rural part of Nebraska. This is the kind of movie with characters that talk in a heavy accent and appreciate the simple things in life. However, drama is introduced early on as we find out that their mother left them when they were kids, and they say that they have never seen his father smile since. The film also concentrates on a love story between Tully and Ella, a childhood friend. The events in this movie unravel at a very and sometimes frustratingly slow pace, like the kind of novel with plenty of pages that the book is based upon. However, the setting of the film certainly saves this pace as it conveys the mood of the piece. The movie wouldn’t be the kind that can move any faster anyways, but it really has nothing to say for itself, nothing new to offer and even the plot looks like something much too easy to come up with.
It’s hard to understand what could attract anyone to make a film like this. To top it off, director, scriptwriter and producer Birmingham isn’t terribly interesting, she doesn’t look like she could have her own defined style, and at best, she looks like a weaker version of Robert Redford. The character of Tully is good, a James Dean sort of a figure portrayed pretty well by young actor Anson Mount, although quite honestly, I have never heard of him. There is little that may interest anyone in this film, and I guess it’s not even worth checking out or anything. It’s just one of many films that are as if never made. Like a whisper in the wind…while American cinema was getting ready for the rebirth and re-discovery of the strength of its independent cinema with new fresh plots and utilising the new techniques to suit its new stories, it’s strange to see that people still bothered making these films outside of the TV movie system.
WATCH FOR THE MOMENT – When Tully finds his father dead.