Tully

A modest but finely tuned look at small-town life under the wide-open skies of Nebraska. Ever since leaving Kansas in the wake of his mother's death 15 years earlier, Tully Coates Jr. (Anson Mount), his younger brother, Earl (Glenn Fitzgerald), and their father, Tully Sr. (Bob Burrus), have been doing pretty well for themselves, farming the land of Nebraska's...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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A modest but finely tuned look at small-town life under the wide-open skies of Nebraska. Ever since leaving Kansas in the wake of his mother's death 15 years earlier, Tully Coates Jr. (Anson Mount), his younger brother, Earl (Glenn Fitzgerald), and their father, Tully Sr. (Bob Burrus), have been doing pretty well for themselves, farming the land of Nebraska's Great Falls. Tully is sleeping with bossy, possessive stripper April (Catherine Kellner), but he's far more interested in Earl's friend Ella (Julianne Nicholson), a smart veterinary student who's home for the summer. Ella brings out the best in Tully, but as much as she seems to like him, Ella manages to resist his legendary charms. Ella knows all about April and all the other girls just like her, and is wary about getting too involved with a guy whose taste in women doesn't seem too particular. Tully Sr., meanwhile, has largely withdrawn from life. He still hasn't gotten over losing his wife, and isn't being entirely honest about what happened the day he told his sons their mother had died in a car accident. The buried truth emerges when Tully Sr. receives a foreclosure notice from a collection agency he's never heard of: Someone claiming to be his wife has defaulted on $300,000 in hospital bills, and Tully Sr. is about to lose his farm. Birmingham, who adapted the screenplay from the O. Henry Awarding-winning short story by Nebraskan writer Tom McNeal, doesn't shy away from sentiment — or tragedy, for that matter — but the film has an interesting take on how we remember the past, tailoring memories to best suit our emotional needs. While not quite as tough as, say, THE LAST PICTURE SHOW (1971), the film has a subtle edge and unfolds with a gentle rhythm that carries several strong performances (Fitzgerald is particularly good) along to a thoughtful conclusion.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A modest but finely tuned look at small-town life under the wide-open skies of Nebraska. Ever since leaving Kansas in the wake of his mother's death 15 years earlier, Tully Coates Jr. (Anson Mount), his younger brother, Earl (Glenn Fitzgerald), and their f… (more)

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