On paper, Stephanie Turner’s Justine really shouldn’t be as good as it is. The story of a mother who neglects her family, but changes her ways after caring for a girl with disabilities, is not necessarily a new one. Turner decides to make an old story new by adding fresh elements and steadfastly holds to a clear vision for her film’s look and tone.
Lisa Wade (Stephanie Turner) is a single mother of two. In fact, Lisa is recently widowed because her husband died in military service for reasons still under investigation. With no real income, Lisa and family are living in the garage of her father-in-law Papa Don’s (Glynn Turman) home. Lisa is under a great deal of stress looking for work and frustrated to no end that the military is dragging its feet investigating her husband’s death.
“…reluctantly agrees to be the nanny of Justine, a young girl with spina bifida. Her job is to care for all of Justine’s physical needs…”
With few jobs available, Lisa reluctantly agrees to be the nanny of Justine (Daisy Prescott), a young girl with spina bifida. Her job is to care for all of Justine’s physical needs seven days a week. Justine’s parents are successful real estate professionals and don’t have the time to be with Justine all day. They are also a little overprotective, keeping Justine out of public school in fear of what the other kids might do or say.
Meanwhile, at home, Papa Don is equally frustrated that Lisa is barely taking care of her own kids and relies too much on him to be the surrogate parent to her children. Taking matters into his own hands, Don goes to counseling at the local VA and brings the kids along in hopes of figuring out a solution to his Lisa problem.