Review: ROSIE Is Absolutely Heartbreaking In A Good Way

FIRST IMPRESSION

Driven by a great script and a fabulous performance from Sarah Greene, Rosie is one of the most emotionally hard-hitting films of the year.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

Rosie, directed by Paddy Breathnach, is a captivating new drama about a heartbreaking issue that affects people around the world. The film tells the story of a mother of four who desperately tries to protect her family when their rented home is sold out from under them and they cannot find another place to live.

This movie’s story falls into a similar category as other slice-of-life films exploring the issue of poverty such as The Florida Project. Although this movie doesn’t necessarily have anything new to add to the discussion, it says it in a way that is a great supplement to the arguments proposed by other films in the genre. This certainly isn’t an easy watch that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside, but it will get you thinking about the state of our society.

The character development in this movie is absolutely phenomenal and allows the script to resonate emotionally as it should. It’s hard not to feel bad for the protagonist because of the dedication she has to her children, and the bit of time we get to spend with the children reinforces this sympathy we have for the character.

One of the film’s main messages is that this could happen to almost anyone, no matter how hard they are trying to make things work out, and as such, the movie can and should connect with anyone, not just those in the lower class. However, the film does not accuse any one person or group of putting the protagonist into this situation, instead focusing on the problem and how to solve it.

rosie daughter

As a result of the personal connections the audience is able to form with the characters, the movie consistently hits all of its emotional beats and in turn feels quite well-paced. The runtime clocks in at a bit under an hour and a half and the film is able to keep your attention for its entire length. Surprisingly, unlike most other movies of this nature, Rosie never feels redundant or repetitive, and as such, it never feels overwhelming or exhausting.

In many ways, this film feels like a showcase for the perfectly-cast Sarah Greene. Greene is surrounded by a talented supporting cast that gives strong performances, but she always steals the show. Her performance emotionally-rich and nuanced in a way that absolutely commands the screen. The ability she has to convey emotion in even a single phone call is truly impressive.

On a technical level, the movie was quite strong. This film is all about subtlety and emphasizing humanity, so the execution is very intimate and small-scale. The cinematography and editing are used in a way to highlight emotion in the performances, with longer takes and soft cuts being used commonly. Additionally, the score is minimalistic and used sparingly, the lack of accompanying music being used just as powerfully to convey emotion.

Rosie is definitely a very impressive movie. The subtlety and humanity with which it treats its subject matter and characters is quite admirable, allowing the film to be a thoroughly emotional and impactful conversation-starter.

Rosie is now playing in select theaters.

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Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

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