I have never seen a film starring Ellen Page that I did not enjoy and Tallulah was certainly no exception. Within the first half an hour, I knew I was in for a treat. In Juno, she played a teenager who conceived a child and didn’t want to keep it. In Tallulah, she plays a homeless young adult who ends up “accidentally” kidnapping a one-year-old.
The acting of everyone in this film was phenomenal. Ellen Page plays Tallulah was a fabulous, off-beat and quirky girl who flies by the seat of her pants, living in the back of her van, Jim. Evan Jonigkeit, who I didn’t recognize from anything but is apparently in stuff, plays Nico, Tallulah’s wayward boyfriend who doesn’t really belong in her lifestyle. Deciding to return home, Nico takes off in the night, leaving Tallulah to fend for herself. Tallulah, doing just that, ends up in a hotel scrounging for leftover food. Caught in the act, she is invited into the hotel room of a mother (Tammy Blanchard) who is dying to be rid of her infant daughter, Madison, so she can cheat on her husband. She leaves Madison in the care of Tallulah who shows more compassion and understanding for the child than her own mother did in the short time she spends with her. Her mother returns and promptly passes out, leaving Tallulah with an awful decision to make. She tries to leave, only to find Madison distressed and screaming, and decides a split second later to take her down to the van to sleep. Trying to return her the next morning, she finds the hotel lobby filled with cops, and does what her impulsive mind tells her to – she takes off to Nico’s mom’s apartment, tells his mom, played by Allison Janney, that the child was fathered by Nico. Reluctantly, she is allowed to stay and you’re left wondering how long it can possibly be before she is found out.
Despite a few plotholes (really, if a woman is screaming “STOP THAT WOMAN, SHE HAS MY CHILD,” I highly doubt that everyone in her near vicinity is going to ignore her), some bigger than others, this movie made me feel so many things. It was thought-provoking, the dialogue was witty, sometimes deep, and sometimes funny, but never too much of one thing at the wrong time. This was a fantastic directorial debut for Sian Heder, and it’s something I will definitely rewatch, probably a few times.
All in all, this was something I really enjoyed and I agree with Rottentomatoes – it fully deserves the 82% it currently has!