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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Gaslighting and manipulation are prominent themes. The film shows how easy it is to fall victim to these forms of psychological abuse. However, there are also examples of courage and perseverance in overcoming these trappings and coming out the other side.
Positive Role Models
Kate is a vulnerable woman who is exposed emotionally. But she also shows resilience. Blond is a complex character. His abuse is subtle and subsequently very real. He gaslights Kate and makes her feel small. A man refuses to have sexual intercourse with Kate on a date as he doesn't want to take advantage of her while she is drunk. Kate's parents don't give depression enough importance, perhaps displaying a generational gap.
At the center of the film is a complex female character. She is flawed and at times not likable, but she feels authentic and realistic. There is little in terms of diversity when it comes to race and ethnicity. Depression is touched upon, with some older characters dismissing it rather than trying to understand its impact.
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Violence & Scariness
Psychological abuse throughout. A character is intimidated in their workplace. References to suicide, including a scene where it happens, though it transpires to have been a dream.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sex is frequent within the movie, proving to be a large part of the narrative. Oral sex is performed on more than one occasion. The two central characters also engage in intercourse. In one sequence, one character is too forceful, resulting in the other banging their head. A character masturbates in the bath. Brief glimpses of a nipple. Characters are seen naked from behind on a few occasions. A character refuses to have sex with someone as they feel that person is too drunk and they don't want to take advantage of them.
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The language is strong and frequent. There is one use of the word "c--t" and several uses of the word "f--k." There are also derogatory words used against women, such as "bitch" and "slag."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters are seen drinking alcohol on a few occasions. During a party, characters are shown to be highly inebriated. It's understood that a character has taken ecstasy, while another has cocaine. The characters subsequently drive home, despite not being sober. A character is seen vomiting in one scene, while characters also smoke cigarettes throughout.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that True Things is a British drama about a psychologically abusive relationship, with a number of sex scenes, strong language, and drug taking. When Kate (Ruth Wilson) meets Blond (Tom Burke), a man who has just come out of prison, the pair begin an intense sexual relationship. Blond soon begins to gaslight and manipulate Kate. While Kate is vulnerable and shows weakness, she is also incredibly strong-willed at times. Sex is frequent throughout and is often quite rough -- in one scene, Kate bangs her head. There are scenes of oral sex, a scene where Kate masturbate's in the bath, and some nudity. The language is strong too with one use of the word "c--t" and several of the word "f--k." There are also derogatory slurs aimed toward women, such as "bitch" and "slag." There are suicide references, including a dream sequence where someone goes through with it. Characters smoke cigarettes throughout, and drink alcohol too, sometimes to the point of drunkenness. In a party sequence, characters are shown to be high on ecstasy and cocaine, and even drive home afterwards, despite being in no fit state to do so. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This true-to-life relationship drama is elevated by two exceptional talents in the leading two roles. In True Things, both Wilson and Burke take what is essentially a simplistic narrative structure, and inject such life into the characters and the world they are inhabiting. The story is lacking somewhat, feeling a little conventional at times, and appears to go round in circles. This shadows their relationship, so the decision makes artistic sense. But from an audience perspective it can lead to tedium.
Despite these reservations, the realism makes Kate and Blond's relationship all the more authentic and relatable, shining a harsh light on subtle yet damaging behavioral traits. The toxicity and gaslighting on show will resonate with many and perhaps make some think twice about their own traits. Following Only You, this is marking director Harry Wootliff as a very exciting voice in British cinema.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.