REVIEW: Tallulah (2016)

Netflix Release Poster
Netflix Release Poster

The following is a quick review of the Netflix Original Film ‘Tallulah’.

In Tallulah, a young woman nicknamed ‘Lu’ (played by Ellen Page) rescues, or kidnaps, a baby girl from a negligent and irresponsible mother (played by Tammy Blanchard). With no money and no experience as a parent, Lu goes to the mother (played by Allison Janney) of her missing boyfriend (played by Evan Jonigkeit), and says that the baby is his. 

Tallulah is about two mothers who are both fed up with motherhood. One of them isn’t capable of taking care of her child, and the other mother is weary from her relationship with both her son and her soon-to-be ex-husband. Ellen Page’s character, on the other hand, has no real connection to her own family whatsoever, and it is over the course of this film that she learns responsibility and what it is like to be needed.

I’ve been intrigued by, and excited for, this film ever since I first heard of it. I thought the premise sounded really gripping, and what I really needed this film to give me was for the scene that makes Tallulah, or Lu (as she’s also called), kidnap the baby girl (named Madison) to work. Which really means that I wanted this film to both place its audience in Lu’s corner, but I also wanted to feel uneasy when she would run off with Madison.

Thankfully, the scene wherein Lu kidnaps the girl is so captivating, but also really unnerving. Lu sees the mother passed out on the bed, and takes the girl away from that situation. The film sets up how negligent the girl’s mother is, so you kind of support Lu’s decision, but it is also really tough to see a stranger just take a baby from a passed out mother, and it’s even tougher when, later in the film, the mother sees Lu get on a train with Madison.

So I thought they balanced that crucial element of the story really well. This film is also lucky to boast two great performances. Allison Janney does a really solid job here as the, at times, brutally honest and exhausted Margo, but Ellen Page was the star for me as the unpredictable Lu. I also thought it was really nice to see Uzo Aduba and, especially, David Zayas show up as pretty important characters. We also shouldn’t overlook Tammy Blanchard in this film, who was everything her character needed to be and more.

Some parts of the story are pretty unbelievable, and not all of it works. But Tallulah is another independent drama that I’m so, so glad Netflix got the rights to. It’s the kind of movie I want Netflix to distribute, but, sadly, it’s also the type of movie that there’s a good chance you’ll just scroll past on Netflix. All in all, though, I liked what I was seeing, and I think you should check it out.

7.5 out of 10

– Jeffrey Rex

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