- SUNDAY INDEPENDENT -
A mother, a father, and their children float in limbo. In place of a kitchen table, their communal area is the interior of their car, while the contents of their lives are stuffed into black bin liners and carried in and out of hotel rooms in 24-hour cycles.
Rosie (Sarah Greene) spends much time with a mobile phone tucked under her chin as she waits for someone to answer the emergency accommodation helpline. Husband John Paul (Moe Dunford) works in a restaurant kitchen. They're loving, diligent parents and quiet, sensible adults. They're doing everything right yet they have nowhere to live.
Roddy Doyle's great screenwriting achievement with Rosie is to not pen a sanctimonious sermon about the State failing its people, but to instead make starkly clear what this housing crisis means to real lives on the ground in practical terms. Everything is a logistical nightmare, while charades of brittle smiles must be kept up not only for the eyes of teachers and colleagues, but also those you are duty-bound to protect from harm - your children.
Paddy Breathnach's film will go down as a canonical work of Irish social realism, but something even more special is going on here. So much tenderness and beauty wafts up from this heart-breaking situation that you may be rendered immobile once the credits roll. Dunford is superb as ever, but this is career-defining stuff from Greene.
- Hilary A White, Sunday Independent
Rosie opens in select NZ cinemas from June 18!