Movie Review: Tallulah (2016)

Posted: August 1, 2016 in Drama
Tags: ,


Tallulah (Ellen Page) is a homeless woman living on the streets of New York City in a van with her boyfriend Nico. (Evan Jonigkeit) Nico gets tired of living in a messy van, and leaves Lu by herself.  Lu then finds Nico’s mother, Margo (Allison Janney) to ask her for money.  Margo refuses. While walking through the hotel, Margo finds a woman named Carolyn (Tammy Blanchard) who asks Lu to take care of her daughter Madison while she goes out.  Tallulah reluctantly agrees.  When Carolyn returns drunk, Tallulah wants to leave, but instead takes the baby and leaves the hotel.  She shows up at Margo’s apartment again claiming Madison is her daughter. While Margo takes Tallulah in, Carolyn calls the police and tells them Madison has been kidnapped.  Do the police find Madison?  What happens to Tallulah and Margo’s burgeoning relationship when Margo finds out the truth about what Margo has done?

I really thought Tallulah was going to be a sequel of Juno.  Ellen Page and Allison Janney raising a baby, it sounded like a fun sequel to me, but instead of being like Raising Arizona, this movie is an overwrought drama.  Every scene is dripping with melancholy, temporary happiness is replaced by permanent depressing sadness. Not one character is a fully actualized content person. The worst part of this film is that there’s not enough material to last the almost two hour running time, so new problems in each of the characters, and that drags this film further into the dark abyss.  The movie ends with a bit of whimsy, which betrays the glum mood of the entire film.

Ellen Page is a good actress, she was very good in Inception and the X-Men movies, but she is saddled with such a sad-sack character that it’s hard to show any growth or character development with a character that starts out at the bottom, and moves sideways throughout the film.  Allison Janney tries to bring some life to her character, but she too is waylaid by the awful script given problems that no one should have to deal with, and prospects that no one would want. Tammy Blanchard’s character is in a no-win situation, and she weeps her way through her role.

The director and writer is Sian Heder, who is best known as a writer for Orange is The New Black, which I’ve never seen, but if it’s anything like this movie, I won’t be watching that show anytime soon.  There’s nothing interesting visually, the pacing is super slow, and she gets nothing from her actors.

Tallulah:  A tall order for viewers.

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