Free-spirited Lu (Ellen Page) is looking for food and a place to stay when a dissatisfied housewife (Tammy Blanchard) mistakes her for hotel staff and asks her to babysit. Soon Lu has a toddler to look after and she goes to the only place she can think of, her boyfriend Nico’s (Evan Jonigkeit) mother Margo’s (Allison Janney) place.
Tallulah is a comedy drama that takes a stark look at motherhood. All three leads are well-rounded and flawed and bring a lot to what could be a made-for-TV-movie. Housewife Carolyn finds motherhood hard and is angry at all the other mothers she see’s finding looking after a child so easy. She doesn’t know how to cope and what could be an unsympathetic and horrible character is actually played as a struggling woman who doesn’t know what to do.
Margo is struggling with her divorce and tries to keep up appearances while Lu doesn’t want any responsibility at all and then a small child is literally thrust upon her. Lu is reckless and doesn’t even feel bad for taking another person’s child, but as the film progresses the script and performances show these aren’t just stereotypes. Each character has layers and they all feel let down by the men in their lives.
The relationship between Lu and Margo is unconventional, Lu is brash and swears and is nothing like Margo but somehow they connect. They both allow each other to open up and they stand up for each other too. Janney and Page’s chemistry is wonderful and both of their performances ground what could be an outlandish and overly dramatic story.
Tallulah is a lovely indie drama with brilliant performances, it’s well worth checking out on Netflix. 4/5.
Will (Logan Marshall-Green) and his girlfriend Kira (Emayatzy Corineadli) are invited to his former home by his ex-wife Eden (Tammy Blanchard) and her new husband David (Michiel Huisman) for a lavish dinner party. But as the night progresses, Will can’t help but feel that something sinister is in the air.
The Invitation is a gripping and eerie film. You see everything from Will’s point of view so like him, you start to get the feeling that something is not quite right. The people gathered at the dinner party are mostly old friends who haven’t really seen each other for two years meaning there’s a lot of information about them that Will doesn’t know.
Throughout the film, there’s flashbacks and characters take moments to have private conversations which gives you all you need to know to piece together how all these people know each other and why they might not have talked for two years. The Invitation definitely doesn’t talk down to its audience which is much appreciated.
The Invitation is a film that slowly builds the tension. This is great as through the evening Will tries to fight his fight-or-flight instinct as he wants to be a polite guest even though he can’t help but feel something is very wrong. However, the film struggles to find that line between being a slow-building, interesting film and just being slow. You have an uneasy feeling and are just waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s a long wait but when that shoe does finally drop, it’s a great payoff.
The Invitation is suspenseful thriller, set primarily in one location. It gives you a creepy feeling and will definitely make you reconsider when you next receive a posh invite to a dinner party. 4/5.