A heartbreaker of a film, “Rosie” glows with a moving, realistic performance by Sarah Greene as a homeless Dublin mother of four who struggles valiantly in a daily effort to find shelter. Directed by Paddy Breathnach and written by Roddy Doyle, “Rosie” chronicles a plight that can be taken as reflecting homeless situations everywhere.
The crisis springs from a landlord’s decision to sell the building in which Rosie, her four children and her partner, John Paul, impressively portrayed by Moe Dunford, live. John Paul is a devoted father who works hard to earn a living in a restaurant kitchen. But housing is scarce, and it falls to Rosie to search for a place to stay each night.
Yes, she has a credit card, and as she and her youngsters sit in their car, she pores over places listed in a city directory. Each phone call that Rosie makes in the face of rejections comes across as a desperate search for even just a room. The alternative is sleeping in the car.
What makes the film so consistently poignant, in addition to Greene’s heartfelt performance, is the realism achieved. Rosie’s search is relentlessly methodical, and the director depicts the environment in a manner that highlights the family being swallowed up in anonymity.
There is also a sympathetic portrait of the children of different ages, so that one feels especially sorry for the situation in which they have been placed. Through it all Rosie maintains her dignity. She tries to hide her desperation from the officials in the school that her children attend. Her pride makes her fight against revealing the pain that goes with not knowing where one will sleep on any given night.
After you see this film, you may look more sympathetically when you spot someone homeless on a city street. What keeps the film from becoming unbearably grim, is the humanity that permeates it through the power of the acting and the humanitarian outlook of the writer and director. A Blue Fox Entertainment release. Reviewed July 19, 2019.