Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Hilary Birmingham|
|Produced by||Hilary Birmingham
|Written by||Hilary Birmingham
|Story by||Tom McNeal|
|Music by||Marcelo Zarvos|
|Edited by||Affonso Gonçalves|
|Distributed by||Small Planet Pictures|
Tully is a 2000 American drama film written and directed by Hilary Birmingham. The film was screened at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival on April 14, 2000 and received a limited release in the United States on November 1, 2002. It is based on an O. Henry Award-winning short story by author Tom McNeal.
The story centers around the Coates brothers, Tully and Earl, who live on their father's ranch in rural Nebraska. Their mother abandoned the family at a young age. Tully is very outgoing and has relationships with many women, including a stripper named April. Earl is more of an introvert.
Ella, a childhood friend comes back to town to start a veterinarian practice. She is friends with both of the Coates brothers. Initially, it appears that Ella has more in common with Earl, as she is reserved and not the typical woman that Tully dates. However, they start a relationship.
The elder Coates clearly misses his wife, and as the film develops, his financial problems worsen. It is eventually shown that his financial problems are due to his wife's medical bills (he never got a divorce). Tully Sr. commits suicide. The film's climax is how the brothers and Ella react to this tragic event.
- Glenn Fitzgerald as Earl Coates
- Anson Mount as Tully Coates, Jr.
- Bob Burrus as Tully Russell Coates, Sr.
- Julianne Nicholson as Ella Smalley
- Catherine Kellner as April Reece
- Laura Walker as Wendy Adams
- Tim Driscoll as Clarence Heiting
- Kristopher King as Dexter
- Delaney Driscoll as Mrs. Smalley
- John Diehl as Mal "Mac" MacAvoy
As deliberately paced as a late-afternoon amble around a homestead, the movie occasionally stops in its tracks to take a deep breath and soak in more of the rural atmosphere. Although this tendency to dawdle may frustrate viewers accustomed to a barrage of visual stimulation, the movie's unhurried rhythm eventually works a quiet spell, and after a while you find yourself settling back, adjusting to the film's bucolic metabolism and appreciating its eye and ear for detail.
Holden also compliments the acting, particularly Nicholson, who he describes as "luminous in an utterly natural way". Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times also commends the film's pace, stating that the "deliberate speed goes hand in hand with its unmistakable sense of place, its attraction to the rhythms of farm life and the unhurried sensibility of its small-town Nebraska setting".
Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B+ rating, and writes, "the believable young people growing on this plot of soil are never predictable; neither are the unmannered, affecting performances".
Awards and nominations
|Independent Spirit Award||Best Debut Performance||Bob Burrus||Nominated|
|Independent Spirit Award||Best Feature||Hilary Birmingham||Nominated|
|Independent Spirit Award||Best Feature||Hilary Birmingham, Anne Sundberg||Nominated|
|Independent Spirit Award||Best Screenplay||Hilary Birmingham, Matt Drake||Nominated|
|Independent Spirit Award||Best Supporting Female||Julianne Nicholson||Nominated|
|Newport International Film Festival||Audience Award, Best Drama||Hilary Birmingham||Won|
|Gen Art Film Festival||Audience Award, Best Feature Film||Hilary Birmingham||Won|
- Tully at Box Office Mojo
- Turan, Kenneth (November 1, 2002). "'Tully'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
- Holden, Stephen (November 1, 2002). "A Troubled Family's Farm, Where Fate Comes Calling". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
- Schwarzbaum, Lisa (November 15, 2002). "Tully (2002)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
- "Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- "Independent Spirit Awards (2003)". IMDB. Retrieved 27 March 2011.