Tallulah is a film about a triangle of women in crisis. At the centre is a baby girl still innocent and unblemished by the worries and struggles this world has to offer. For some the baby is reminder of past mistakes, for others a promise of a hopeful future, and she is even a figure representing an unhappy present. Motherhood, marriage, and loneliness are — although at times heavy-handedly — reflected on in this story. All things considered, Tallulah is a delightful mixture of morbid hilarity, cathartic bath times, with just a touch of magical realism.
The title of the film is borrowed from the name of its protagonist played by Ellen Page. She mostly goes by Lu and is the free spirited type who lives in a van, dumpster diving and committing petty theft. Through a series of events, she ends up at the door step of her absent lover’s mother Margot Mooney (Allison Janney), an esteemed author of marriage and relationship books; however, with divorce papers left unsigned on her kitchen table, it looks like Margot’s only true companion is a pet turtle she keeps in a tank.
Tammy Blanchard plays Carolyn, a rich, bored, and very drunk housewife whose ability to care for her daughter is more than questionable. Blanchard plays the tired trophy wife narcissistically grieving her fading youth to an impeccable T. Carolyn has a chance encounter with Lu decides to take (or as many would call it kidnap) the baby girl and tell Margot it’s her grandchild. The crux of the film lies in this deceit. Lu and Margot are an unlikely couple, but Janney and Page have undeniable on screen chemistry, constantly challenging one another. Speaking of confrontation Uzo Aduba plays a very pregnant social worker who lets her personal feelings about neglectful parenting fly free when presented with Carolyn’s sob story about her maternal shortcomings. All in all, the women in this film are complex, forthcoming, and so refreshingly multi-dimensional.
Written and directed by Sian Heder (Orange Is the New Black) Tallulah is a charming and thought provoking dramatic comedy. Personally, I would recommend watching with a glass of red, and if possible, snuggling with your mum.