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.
What We Thought:
Rose Plays Julie is a nice little psychological thriller about an adopted woman finding out the hard truth about her biological parents. Ann Skelly gives off strong Jodie Comer vibes in the lead role as she seeks the truth and maybe a bit of revenge.
It starts off with the introduction of Skelly’s character of Rose. She is studying veterinary science and learns her birth mother is an actress (played by Orla Brady). She stalks her a bit before finally introducing herself as the daughter that was given up. Brady has put together a solid life for herself with a family and career and isn’t prepared to meet Rose. But they talk and Brady’s character explains why she was put up for adoption and who her biological father is.
The film takes a nice turn as Rose pretends to be an actress herself and wants to get into a character so she convinces Aidan Gillen to let her help in his work. Gillen is her biological father, but has a dark past. As she gets more involved with him, she wants revenge for all that has happened.
Rose Plays Julie is a pretty taught thriller. You’re not sure which direction it will go and Skelly is great in the role. I’m not overly familiar with her previous work, but she really impressed me here. Of course Brady and Gillen are fantastic as usual and Gillen really gets under your skin. It doesn’t wander and gets you right into the story pretty quickly. At 100 minutes it doesn’t go too long yet it doesn’t feel rushed either. For a film I knew nothing about but enjoyed the trailer, it’s definitely…
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