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Charlize Theron is Marlo, a working mother of two young children who is expecting her third. Succumbing to the challenges of dealing with a son with additional needs, a new baby, and a husband who works all day, helps the kids with their homework and then spends his evening playing video games, Marlo calls Tully (Mackenzie Davis), a night nanny provided as a gift by her brother. The film uses humor (sometimes irreverent) to examine the realities of contemporary motherhood. While I think Davis’ work is wonderful and Theron and Davis work very well together, for me this film belongs to Charlize Theron. She is such a great actress and portrays Marlo with such a marvelous mix of strength, love, frustration, hate, and exhaustion; hers is an award-worthy performance. There is something that happens during the film (and I will give no hints) that initially left me wondering whether I liked what happened or was annoyed; however, upon reflecting on the story, I realized that it worked. Big thumbs up for another wonderful screenplay by Diablo Cody (of “Juno” fame) that provides what feels like a pretty accurate portrayal of mothers who somehow manage to hold it all together (almost).

About Gary Burkholder

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