FILM

Tallulah
By S. Wyatt Young With on February 12, 2016

Sian Heder’s latest film, 'Tallulah', is a beautifully crafted masterpiece filled with emotional highs and lows, cheerful laughs and heart-wrenching tears. The movie begins with a young girl named Tallulah (Ellen Page) being abandoned by her boyfriend, Nico (Evan Jonigkeit), who takes all of her money in the process. Left with nothing but Nico’s gas card and the van out of which she lives, Tallulah heads to New York City in search of the mother from whom Nico long ago fled. Tallulah finds Nico’s mother, Margo (Allison Janney), but Margo is quick to turn her away. Tallulah ventures to a hotel, and while scavenging for food from the leftover room service trays of the hotel’s guests, she meets a borderline psychotic and clearly incompetent mother named Carloyn (Tammy Blanchard) who’s in the city with her toddler and longing for a night out with a man who’ll find her attractive (we get the impression that her husband no longer does). Believing that Tallulah is hotel housekeeping, Carolyn offers to pay Tallulah to babysit, and she leaves her daughter with Tallulah for the night. When Carolyn returns to the hotel and passes out drunk, Tallulah kidnaps the toddler and returns to Margo’s apartment under the pretense that the toddler is the her and Nico’s daughter. As the film follows these three mothers (Tallulah, Carolyn, and Margo), Carolyn discovers through the loss of her child that she really does want to be a mother, while Margo and Tallulah bond in moments that had me laughing out loud. The film’s comedy derives from the fact that Margo and Tallulah have nothing in common except their motherhood. Tallulah is a militant pragmatist who lives out of her hippie van without a nickel to her name, struggling to grapple with single-motherhood, while Margo is the ex-wife of a prestigious professor who lives in the ideals of feminism but confesses to Tallulah that all she really wanted was a family, and in the wake of having lost what she never knew she wanted, desperately longs to escape from the world. A heart-gripping drama with ample doses of comedic relief, 'Tallulah' is a film that invites men and women, young and old, to experience through the lens of these three mothers the ups and downs of what is undoubtedly one of the most difficult and underappreciated jobs in the world: being a mom.

About the Author: S. Wyatt Young
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