(director/writer: Harry Wootliff; screenwriters: Molly Davies, adapted from the novel “True Things About Me” by Deborah Kay Davies; cinematographer: Ashley Connor; editor: Tim Fulford; music:Alex Baranowski; cast: Ruth Wilson (Kate), Tom Burke (Blond), Hayley Squires (Alison), Elizabeth Rider (Mum), Frank McCusker (Dad), Ann Firbank (Nan), Tom Weston – Jones (Rob), Nathan Ampofo (Gavin), Michael Moreland (David); Runtime: 102; MPAA Rating: NR; producers; Tristan Goligher, Ruth Wilson, Ben Jackson, Jude Law: Picturehouse/Riff Raff Entertainment; 2021-UK)
“Paints a pretty ugly picture of its heroine’s messy life.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The Brit female director Harry Wootliff (“Only You”) was born in Leeds. True Things, her second feature film, is adapted from Deborah Kay Davies’s novel True Things About Me. It’s an erotic and sad tale about a despondent woman trying to make a go of it in the rundown seaside town of Ramsgate while working at a dead-end job and seeing the wrong man.
Kate (Ruth Wilson) is a single woman approaching thirty. Her married with kids best friend Alison (Hayley Squires) tells her it’s time she grew up and got married and raised children, while her parents (Frank McCusker & Elizabeth Rider) disapprove of her unsettled lifestyle. She’s bored with her office job as a claims/benefits agent–on the verge of being canned by her supervisor (Michael Moreland) for being repeatedly late to work.
The aimless, reckless and insecure Kate, fed up with the men she meets through a dating service, hooks up with the ex-con called the Blond (Tom Burke), who dyes his hair, when he pops into her office one day asking for financial aid and starts flirting. Before you know it they have sex in the building’s car park.
There’s an attempt to get inside the troubled head of Kate by viewing her as she sees herself and catching her dreams, and also seeing how vulnerable she’s to drugs and booze. It’s exasperating to see how she lets the crude Blond treat her like shit and then when he wants sex gets it by suddenly act nice (seemingly going hot and cold on her at will).
It’s also troubling to see how she loses a seemingly nice guy she dates, Rob (Tom Weston-Jones), who gets turned off by how aggressive she becomes over sex.
It’s an ambitious and forthright effort, that paints a pretty ugly picture of its heroine’s messy life, her poor decision making and how she’s devalued in life because she’s programmed to believe she can only be happy if raising a family as a married woman.
REVIEWED ON 10/16/2021 GRADE: B