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WHAT HAPPENED TO TULLY

USA, 2000 (MIFF 2000, International Panorama)

Director: Hilary Birmingham

"Anchored by fine performances, delicate narrative development and an overall tenderness, this picture unfolds beautifully...This life on the farm drama is a potent addition to cinema's recent Mid-Western collection—Boys Don't Cry and David Lynch's The Straight Story—and there are plenty of emotional jolts, strengths and comfortable dialogue that actually does sound like real conversations"—Variety

Tully Coates Sr. is a reclusive Nebraskan rancher who just gets by with the help of his two sons. Earl, the younger, is shy and sensitive while Tully Jr, is the local heartthrob with a chiselled body and constant women troubles. The only thing the boys have in common is neighbour and trainee vet Ella Smalley, a kind hearted but plain spoken and tough country gal. The family dynamic changes when the farm is placed in jeopardy by the uncovering of buried secrets and the appearance of a stranger with news about the lads' long dead mother.

With a genuine charm and presence that most Hollywood leading men would envy, unknown Anson Mount is stellar as Tully Jr. It is his key performance that underpins an exceptionally warm and deeply moving film. A Festival discovery and a must see!

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