British writer-director Harry Wootliff’s ‘popular’ 2018 debut Only you centered on a couple experiencing fertility issues, Leslie Felperin said in FT. Her second feature film, the “dazed, intoxicating” real thingsadapted from a novel by Deborah Kay Davies, describes a rather troubled relationship involving a “destructive erotic obsession”.
Kate (Ruth Wilson) is a middle-class social worker with “a barely hidden wild streak.” Dissatisfied with life and already in trouble for being late at Margate’s employment office, one of her clients, a “sexy Bit of Raw” with a prison sentence (Tom Burke), invites her to lunch. Within hours they are having sex in a parking lot. She refers to this unnamed man as “the blonde” and soon becomes mad at him. But it seems that hunger is all hers, and with terrible inevitability he begins to take advantage of her infatuation.
For Kate, the romance is a “madness” and an “addiction,” and there’s an “madness element” — “Nightmares, hallucinations, a chasm ripping open,” Tim Robey said in The Daily Telegraph. “The cinematography boldly pushes us to the edge with rain on the lens,” and the editing becomes “fragmentary.” But what really “rives” is Wilson’s performance. Kate is a mess, but Wilson manages to make her relatable in a weird way.
Burke is good too, giving the blond a touch of “old world romance,” adds Clarisse Loughrey The Independent. But the problem with the film is that it’s still too obviously a cad, making it hard for us to identify with Kate. And while there’s intriguing evidence that her obsession is a rebellion against the social expectations she faces as a woman in her 30s, the idea remains underexplored.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/arts-life/culture/film/956363/film-review-true-things Movie Review: True Things | The week Great Britain