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Tully [DVD] 
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Tully explores a legacy of love between a family of men, and the events of one summer that change their world forever. Through the eyes of Tully Coates Jr. (Anson Mount) - the local hearthrob and eldest son - a world is revealed where secrets are kept close beneath wide open skies as a distant father and his two sons struggle with a past that has come back to haunt them.
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is quite good, the acting above average though the look of the film reminded me of a Hallmark made for TV movie. If you enjoy low key slice of life dramas this is worth a look, though don't expect to be blown away.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The story has a leisurely pace as it unfolds, and for a time it seems to be about the growing attraction between womanizer Tully and Ella, a college-educated friend of his younger brother. But this becomes a thread in the larger story of a family's secrets and loyalties surfacing after years of silence and half-truths. For its length, it's a small film, and its strength is not in big effects, sex and nudity, or heavy plotting. Instead there are well-acted scenes between people in muted conflict who struggle with emotions and the difficulty of trusting others with the truth about themselves. This will not be everyone's idea of entertainment, but as indie movies go, I found that it rewarded my patience.
The cinematography captures the deep greens of mid-summer, and scenes are often shot in early morning or late afternoon, so the golden, glancing sunlight lights characters with a rich glow and casts cool shadows. Night scenes are played against a textured fabric of insect sounds. Always the camera captures the isolation and solitude of country living.
Perhaps the only real ring of inaccuracy in the film is the fact that so little of the dawn-to-dusk work of actual farming is reflected in the lives of the characters. These boys have an awful lot of time on their hands; the farm seems to take care of itself. The film is based on a story by writer Tom McNeal, whose novel "Goodnight, Nebraska" has similar characters (a young couple), a rural small town setting, and touches on similar themes. For fans of the film, I recommend McNeal's book.
"Tully"'s quiet tone and measured pace beautifully reflect the midwestern landscape which is not only the setting for this film, but often seems to be a character in it as well. It would be accurate to say that the pace of this film is slow. But its leisurely pace is deliberately and meticulously crafted, and it never drags or bores. The family crises in "Tully" could easily be construed as the stuff of melodramas, but there isn't a bit of melodrama in this film. The characters seem so real that you might think to reach out and touch them, and they cope with revelations that strike at the heart of their self-images the way that level-headed people do: Mostly privately, quietly and effectively. I cannot praise director Hilary Birmingham, cinematographer John Foster, and the principal actors enough for being able to sustain "Tully"'s even, quiet lyricism throughout the film. Impeccable pacing, exquisite cinematography, an excellent script, and great understated performances, so rarely seen together, combine to make "Tully" a true gem of a film. I expected this to be a decent midwestern drama, which inspires limited enthusiasm. But it turned out to be one of the best films of 2002. (It was actually made in 2000.) "Tully" isn't a movie for those who like their films frenetically-paced, but it is a beautiful film with astonishingly good and touchingly subdued performances. I look forward to future projects from director Hilary Birmingham and this excellent cast.
Note: On the VHS version of this film, there is a short film entitled "The Third Date" that precedes the main feature. It takes place on Coney Island, features a cameo appearance by Sandra Bernhard and has no relation to "Tully". Don't think that you have the wrong tape if, at first, you see "The Third Date".
Afterwards, I took another friend to go see it as an "emergency movie" to a tiny little theater in Berkley (the only place that was still showing it, 48 miles away). After the film he stood up and said "That was pure quality."