Let me just start by saying that Stephanie Turner is quite the “triple threat” (actress-writer-director). This was her directorial debut and it wasn’t a bad first go at it. “Justine” is about a widowed, mother of two bi-racial kids who has to move in her with father-in-law while she grieves her husband’s death and tries to get her life back together. While the film is a slow burn, it is filled with lots of evocative moments that make you really feel a certain way about the characters. One of the standout things in this touching film is the performance of Daisy Prescott, who plays Justine, the young girl with spina bifida that Turner’s character is a caretaker for. The kids in this film definitely steal the show (Ravi Cabot-Conyers and Bridget Kallal too)!
This film touches on bigotry, racism, parenting, how we deal with grief and those who may be different. There are a lot of themes dealt with in this film, some more subtly than others, but the film still does an effective job of making the viewer question their notions and feelings. This film is distributed through Ava DuVernay‘s ARRAY, and I love everything she and they do and stand for…shinning a spotlight on diverse stories and characters. Overall, this was a solid and enjoyable watch. Currently streaming on Netflix.