TIFF 2018: Our Review of ‘Rosie’

TIFF 2018: Our Review of ‘Rosie’

Festival circles know Paddy Breathnach for directing and producing documentaries an fictional films about the Irish experience. Audiences can see that in Rosie, a personal look at the downturn of the volatile Irish economy. Rents are increasing, pushing families like Rosie Davis (Sarah Greene) and John Paul Brady’s (Moe Dunford) out. As a couple they have has to use Dublin city credit cards. They use those to pay for hotel rooms before finding something permanent. Rosie, a young mother, also has to deal with her four children’s’ separate issues. Two of them are old enough to keep secrets from a mother whose heavy sufferings they can’t understand yet. There are a lot of close-ups of these characters’ faces helplessly, somewhat effectively pleading to each other.

While Breathnach’s intimate camera works, some elements don’t. The movie, after all, began, with children tracing raindrops on a foggy car window. It’s a scene that Breathnach sets to sad guitar music. That’s just one of the hallmarks of neo-neo-realist cinema that audiences can see here. It would have also been nice to see what their life was like before all this. There’s also a scene in the end that’s a bit overdone. But Greene’s performance saves this film. She’s lucky to get a complex character who’s polite to her unruly children. This is both a generational thing and an effect of a backstory that the film drops on her. She’s bringing decorum to these children’s lives while living in a system that disallows it.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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