Tuesday film poster and movie review

Movie Reviews

Tuesday

Reviewed by:
Luke Bonanno on June 14, 2024

Theatrical Release:
June 14, 2024

A wildly uneven tragicomic fantasy whose hold on your appreciation is weak and fleeting.

Running Time111 min

RatingR

Running Time 111 min

RatingR

Daina O. Pusić

Daina O. Pusić

Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Zora), Lola Petticrew (Tuesday), Arinzé Kene (Death), Leah Harvey (Nurse Billie), David Sibley (Robert)


Tuesday (2024)

by Luke Bonanno

In Tuesday, Death comes in the form of a mangy macaw whose head is filled with the pleas of the dying. With the wave of a wing, the bird instantly relieves his target of its suffering and makes for one fewer voice in his internal cacophony.

Death’s routine is diverted by Tuesday (Lola Petticrew, nearly 30), a sickly 15-year-old in London who holds the size-shifting bird captive with a joke and then manages to buy herself and her mother some time. Soon, Tuesday and the freshly-bathed bird (who speaks with a booming baritone supplied by Arinzé Kene) are rapping along with Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day” and sharing a joint.

In a24's offbeat dramedy "tuesday", death takes the form of a size-shifting macaw with a deep voice.

As you might expect, Tuesday’s expat American mother Zora (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is not handling the girl’s terminal status very well. Instead of accepting her daughter’s already-delayed reckoning, she tries burning the parrot and then eats his crispy remains just to be safe.

The feature debut of writer-director Daina O. Pusić, Tuesday is not without interesting ideas. But it is a wildly uneven tragicomic fantasy whose hold on your appreciation is weak and fleeting. At first glance, this A24 movie appears to be going for magical realism, something akin to Swiss Army Man and Everything Everywhere All at Once, two films from “The Daniels” (Kwan and Scheinert) that won the distributor acclaim and awards. Like those movies, Tuesday wants to present modern life and the human condition with both meaning and whimsy.

Teen daughter tuesday (lola petticrew) and her single mother zora (julia louis-dreyfus) grapple with grief in a24's "tuesday. "

Our focus shifts from Tuesday to Zora, allowing the film to explore what life is like for a single mother on a grief journey. Louis-Dreyfus has truly honed her dramatic chops over the years and she gives the film weight even when portraying someone who implausibly has been taking afternoon naps on park benches and selling all of her upstairs possessions (like taxidermy mice dressed as bishops) to afford her daughter’s endless succession of in-home nurses (Tuesday’s current aide is listed in Zora’s phone simply as “Nurse #8”).

There does appear to be some genuine insight and poignancy to Oniunas-Pusic’s script, but the meandering focus and inconsistent tone make them hard to appreciate. By the time the film is authoritatively revealing to us whether or not there is a God and an afterlife, the viewer has already accepted that this project is falling short of its lofty goals.

It’s not unusual for a first-time filmmaker to deliver something less than satisfactory and there is enough promise here to hope that London-based Croatian filmmaker Pusić continues to write inventive and offbeat works like this. A24 certainly continues to warrant admiration for taking creative risks at a time when other theatrical distributors are all about minimizing that and streamers are simply trusting their algorithms to capture eyeballs, not hearts and minds.

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