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Julia Louis-Dreyfus starred in the 2023 comedy You Hurt My Feelings (A24) and it is a film I thoroughly enjoyed. I still remember one scene where she overhears her husband speaking to another man. I love films that leave something with you to remember, to smile when you look back.

In the film written and directed by Daina O. Pusić in her feature directorial debut, Tuesday, Julia once again gives a memorable performance as Zora, a mother to a teen daughter, Tuesday (Lola Petticrew) who terminally ill yet seems to maintain a positive mood. She does feel her mother is distant though.

Rightly so, as Tuesday is Zora’s only child and not ready to face the fact that she may lose her someday. She has Nurse Billie (Leah Harvey, “Foundation” TV series) take care of her daily while Zora leaves, avoiding Tuesday. In the film there are several scenes of what she does with her time she calls “work.”

Pusić’s supernatural story shows a large bird flying from person to person who he can hear quite clearly in some type of distress. In all such situations, they see the bird and react differently, but pass away. In a quick search of the web, there are various articles that show that some birds have been considered as representative of death in different countries and cultures for years. This is not explicitly stated in the film, but the director’s choice to use a bird for her film is a great idea. Instead of a black bird, her choice is a red-orange one with an ability to shrink and swell as the occasion needs. Voiced by Arinzé Kene, the bird can speak in a very deep voice that can sound intimidating.

Tuesday sees him and is rather comfortable and accepting of his visit. The scenes of Tuesday and the bird are quite heartwarming as they somehow develop a type of friendship. Tuesday sees a need to stall Death, not for herself, but knows Zora isn’t ready. It is understandable, as no parent can be prepared to live longer than their child and Zora is seen as fully going into protective mode of her daughter. Both parent and child approach the facts differently and the story shows how they handle the inevitability.

Death and grief are different for everyone, so it is no doubt the same that the audience will have a different and personal response. I think it is a beautiful film with excellent performances.

Produced by Helen Gladders, Ivana MacKinnon, Oliver Roskill

World Premiere at Telluride Film Festival 2023. Rating: R for language. Running time: 110 minutes.

After a limited release, it is now in theaters nationwide June 14, 2024.

Source: A24