- 12 Oct 18
The emphatic drama highlights Ireland's housing crisis.
Roddy Doyle started writing Rosie two years ago, and sadly this exploration of Dublin's housing crisis has only become more relevant. Unfolding over 36 hours, Paddy Breathnach's naturalistic film follows a tightknit family struggling to survive and maintain appearances after their landlord sells the house they've been renting for seven years, leaving them without a place to stay.
Sarah Greene is remarkable as Rosie, the young mother to four children who spends the brief hours while the kids are in school trying to find somewhere for her family to sleep that night. Working through the list of Dublin City Council-approved hotels that offer temporary accommodation, her day is an endless exercise in disappointment - though she rarely lets it show. Rosie is warm and polite, never failing to say "thank you" to the people rejecting her family. Her pride is also what makes the situation both harder and more humane, as she conceals the urgency of her situation from friends and family. A conflict preventing Rosie from asking her mother for help highlights yet another way denial, shame and pride can inflict damage.
With her husband John Paul (Moe Dunford) working all day and the family's belongings crammed into their car, every break in Rosie's routine becomes a stressful delay in her search for a home. When her daughter feigns illness to avoid bullies; when her eldest goes missing in a sulk; when her youngest needs a bathroom or loses her beloved teddy Peachy - all of these small moments become more weight on a woman struggling to keep her family afloat.
Though never particularly cinematic, the experience is immersive, exhausting and breathtakingly empathetic, with Cathal Watters' intimate cinematography and the tragic soundtrack from Stephen Rennicks adding to the emotion.
Hard, vital viewing.