After making a huge impact thanks to the phenomenal 2018 romantic drama Only You, writer-director Harry Wootliff returns for her second film outing in True Things, a psychological drama that's loosely adapted from Deborah Kay Davies' 2011 novel, True Things about Me. We follow Kate, a lonely benefit claims worker who is immediately seduced after a chance encounter from an ex-con known only as Blond. Despite words of caution from her family and friends, she dives into her erotically-charged romance headfirst, even as it slowly overwhelms and consumes her.
Like Only You, this is a solidly put-together movie, loaded with gorgeously, stunning imagery that's all presented in a 1:33 aspect ratio that makes Kate's worldview feel compromised, suffocating and boxed in, quite literally in this case. Also contributing to Kate's disorientating state is Ashley Connor's luscious cinematography which highlights the woozy mental state of our protagonist, plus Alex Baranowski's skittering orchestral strings perfectly reflects the discomfort and eroticism she's experiencing throughout.
This film tackles the notions of yearning to be loved and being unfulfilled socially and romantically, and Ruth Wilson captures that extremely well. Wilson has had a history of portraying complex individuals as seen in Luther, The Affair, His Dark Materials and Mrs Wilson, and she makes no exception here as she captures the lonely, flawed, fractured side of Kate while being unafraid of delivering raw vulnerability when needed.
While there is a lot to admire about True Things, it becomes rather predictable narratively as we see Kate learn that her new relationship isn't as alluring as she made it out to be, becoming very distant in the process and maturing as a result. We've seen this kind of story before, and this doesn't provide anything unique to offer apart from the strong performances and dazzling visual presentation. it also, doesn't quite have the depth and emotional involvement of Only You, making this a rather strangely cool, distant experience despite how steamy things get.
There is a lot to admire about True Things, whether it's the presentation or the incredibly strong performance from Ruth Wilson, but its barebones narrative offers nothing that's new or refreshing. While flawed, this is still an admirable attempt by Wootliff in taking a different approach to telling stories about dark yet sensual modern relationships. It just needed to be more than that, but worth a watch, nevertheless.
True Things will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on July 4th.