Justine is a loosely spun tale of addiction and self-sabotage. It is written by Jeff Murphy (Hidden; Hinterland) and directed by Jamie Patterson, a dynamic director who spans genres from rom-coms to sci-fi-horrors at an average of two productions per year.
Justine (Tallulah Haddon), is petulant and abrasive, spending her time drinking vodka and shoplifting (and shoplifting vodka). She roams around the sparsely populated and less trendy corners of Patterson’s hometown, Brighton, suggesting that this could be anywhere really.
Justine picks up Rachel (Sophie Reid) with relative ease, perhaps representing a spontaneity that is lacking in her own life. Here there are similarities with My Summer of Love (2004), and Me Without You (2001), which delve into obsession and toxicity between young women, but are both far more compelling than Justine.
The small cast includes a comedy-free appearance from Steve Oram (Sightseers; The End of the Fxxxing World), and Sian Reese-Williams, with the face for gritty British drama (Hidden; Silent Witnesses; Line of Duty). Reese-Williams is almost too convincing as Justine’s case worker. Delivering a message of support with the hard demeanour of someone who has seen it all before, and is fed up with your bullshit.
Justine does not meet the expectations set by 2018’s Tucked, though the combination of sexuality, self-destruction, and addiction is a well that won’t run dry any time soon.
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