By Angie Raphael

4 stars

We often hear motherhood is a “blessing” and “the best experience” but sometimes being a mother is painful, lonely, heartbreaking, demanding and just downright horrible. Tully explores the very real challenges mothers face on a daily basis and how much worse it can be if a child and/or mother is struggling with other personal issues, such as mental health. Marlo (Charlize Theron) and her husband Drew (Ron Livingston) are already finding it difficult to raise two children, awkward eight-year-old Sarah and likely autistic six-year-old Jonah, when Marlo gives birth to a third child, Mia. At the encouragement of her wealthy brother Craig (Mark Duplass), Marlo hires perky 26-year-old night nanny Tully (Mackenzie Davis) to help. Just as they did with Juno and Young Adult, screenwriter Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman present some uncomfortable truths with humour, kindness, sincerity and wisdom. Theron is excellent and brings raw honesty to the role. Obviously, the film is especially relevant for mothers, who perhaps need reminding sometimes that they do not have to do it all and self-care is just as important as caring for a child. But there is so much to enjoy and learn from Tully no matter who you are. With Mother's Day this weekend, Tully will certainly make you appreciate everything your mother does for you.