Rosie

"Good"

Rosie Review


It seems I'm a sucker for foreign films about female innocence and tragedy.

In 1996, "Breaking the Waves" -- the emotionally exhausting story of a simple Scottish girl's moral descent in the wake of her loving husband's paralysis -- left me devastated, yet I saw it several times.

The next year a French film about a 4-year-old girl in denial about her mother's death broke my heart. That movie was called "Ponette," and I saw it more than once as well.

In a way, the Belgian import "Rosie" makes something of a personal trilogy when slipped between the other two titles. It's the story of a 13-year-old girl with an ingrained desire to please her inconstant mother, whose immature fantasies of romance with an older boy drive her to emotional instability and dire acts of desperation.

The thing that ties these three films together is literally stunning performances from the lead actresses that compel you to want to jump through the screen and rescue the tragic heroines yourself.

In "Rosie," said performance comes courtesy of Aranka Coppens, a simple beauty in early bloom (she looks like a young Mira Sorvino) with incredible natural range that is put to the test in this challenging debut role.

Rosie is a girl with one foot in childhood and the other in puberty. Fiercely dedicated to her 30-ish mother (Sara De Roo), who insists they pretend to be sisters so as not to dampen her dating life, Rosie still spends much of her time wandering the industrial outskirts of Antwerp, obsessively fantasizing about creating a romantic domestic life with Jimi (Joost Wijnant), a pretty, troubled, older boy she spots on a city bus.

But writer-director Patrice Toye lets us know in the first scene that Rosie's fate may not be a happy one. Even before we get to know her as erratic but girly, optimistic and driven by hope (in the flashbacks that tell the bulk of the story), Toye shows us Rosie in the present -- living in a girls' detention center where she has become sullen, taciturn and insolent and where her cascading locks of brown hair have been cut into a severe, Journey groupie mop.

The movie maps how this darling girl's turbulent imagination (she even makes up a story about being raped to get attention at school) and her desire to see her mother contented begin to overwhelm her precarious psyche, leading her down a dangerous path.

Toye's deceptively simple direction mixes the bleak realism of Rosie's tenement lifestyle with a dose of tenderness and delicacy that encourages the audience's parental vibe as the movie probes this girl's emotional instability that stems, in part, from her unfulfilled need for some kind of decent role model.

But it's Coppens' ingenuous, unaffected portrayal of Rosie that makes the movie captivating. She artlessly juxtaposes her character's naivete, her budding sexuality and her growing dysfunction with the harsh reality of the juvie facility Rosie finds herself in after her fantasy world wreaks havoc on her reality.

As with Emily Watson's career-making turn in "Breaking the Waves" and angelic Victoire Thivisol's unfeigned portrayal of little "Ponette," you walk away from "Rosie" affected in a way that's hard to shake because Coppens makes this girl feel all too tangible.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 18th November 1998

Production compaines: Cobra Film

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Fresh: 4 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Fabian Krüger as Lorenz, Sibylle Brunner as Rosie, Sebastian Ledesma as Mario, Judith Hofmann as Sophie

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

Advertisement
A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.