Director: Christine Molloy
Cast: Ann Skelly, Orla Brady
Country: Ireland-UK 2019
Running time: 100 mins
Aided by a haunting score, Rose Plays Julie is a moving but disquieting drama in the vein of a contemporary Greek tragedy in an Irish setting. Rose (Ann Skelly) a thoughtful veterinary student studying animal euthanasia, uncovers the painful truth behind her adoption when she tracks down her separated birth parents, one by one. At first, Rose finds her mother, Ellen (Orla Brady) a famous actress now living in a wealthy part of London and the two form a bond. As the story unfolds, Rose takes her original name on the birth certificate, “Julie”, in order to anonymously stake out her biological father, a celebrity archaeologist still working in Ireland.
Rose Plays Julie is a slow burning narrative shot in colourless tones. The audience is almost lulled into a reverie of sympathy, watching the beguiling Skelly and Brady against a sublime Irish landscape and designer interiors. However, this belies the high pathos and extreme violence in this revenge thriller.
(First Reviewed Official Competition London Film Festival October 2019)