Taking home both the audience prize for Best Director as well as the critics' prize for Best Film, writer-director Hilary Birmingham was the toast of the 2000 L.A. Independent Film Festival with this slice-of-life drama about a pair of motherless young men and their relationships with women. Tully Jr. (Anson Mount) and Earl (Glenn Fitzgerald) live on their father's Nebraska ranch, proud and independent to a fault. While the shy, reclusive Earl spends his free time watching movies, the cockier Tully works his way through a succession of short-term affairs and an off-again, on-again relationship with April (Catherine Kellner), a stripper in town. When their childhood friend Ella (Julianne Nicholson) returns to town to start a veterinary practice, however, Tully falls for her -- although the townsfolk have their doubts that he could ever commit to one woman. Birmingham based her film on a short story by author Tom McNeal; before <I>Tully</I>, the director cut her teeth producing PBS documentaries. Tully would go on to show at festivals in Toronto, Canada, and Melbourne, Australia.
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