Rose (Ann Skelly) is at university studying veterinary science. An only child, she has enjoyed a loving relationship with her adoptive parents. However, for as long as Rose can remember she has wanted to know who her biological parents are and the facts of her true identity. After years trying to trace her birth mother, Rose now has a name and a number. All she has to do is pick up the phone and call. When she does it quickly becomes clear that her birth mother has no wish to have any contact. Rose is shattered. A renewed and deepened sense of rejection compels her to keep going. Rose travels from Dublin to London in an effort to confront her birth mother, Ellen (Orla Brady).
Ellen is deeply disturbed when Rose turns up unannounced. The very existence of this young woman threatens the stability of the new life Ellen has painstakingly put together. But Rose proves very tenacious and Ellen is forced to reveal a secret she has kept hidden for over 20 years. This shocking revelation forces Rose to accept the violent nature of how she came into existence.
Rose believes she has little to lose but much to gain when she sets out to confront her biological father, Peter (Aidan Gillen). What Rose cannot possibly foresee is that she is on a collision course that will prove both violent and unsettling – dark forces gather and threaten to destroy her already fragile sense of her own identity.
Nominated for “Best Film” at the London Film Festival, ROSE PLAYS JULIE has garnered accolades at festivals the world over. Alistair Ryder of Film Inquiry wrote “Christine Malloy and Joe Lawlor’s film is one of the best screen depictions of the internal struggle of being adopted perfectly realizing a character’s permanent sense of existential displacement, and constant worries that she’s not living the life she was intended for. I was absolutely floored by this film”. Martyn Conterio of CineVue says that “its emotional dilemmas, depictions of trauma, revenge and fractured family ties are handled with such skill and sense of purpose, it is truly exemplary film-making.” And Jared Mobarak of The Film Stage calls ROSE PLAYS JULIE “a powerful journey into the heart of darkness.”
ROSE PLAYS JULIE (2019)
Written & Directed by: Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor
Cast: Ann Skelly, Orla Brady, Aidan Gillen, Annabell Rickerby, Catherine Walker,
Joanne Crawford, Alan Howley, Sadie Soverall
Produced by: David Collins, Joe Lawlor
Co-Produced By: Eoin O’Faolain
Executive Produced by: Celine Haddad
Cinematography: Tom Commerford
Genre: Psychological Thriller
RT: 100 minutes