Rose Plays Julie (2019)

Rose Plays Julie is, on the surface, an expertly drawn thriller, one limned through a slippery relationship between two women working out whether they can trust each other; powerful instances of drone music; shots of eerily empty spaces of modernity like concrete corridors, escalators and golf courses; and a definitionally sleazy performance by Aidan Gillen – in his third feature film with filmmakers Desperate Optimists – as the embodiment of entitlement.

There’s a gunshot, a vulnerable teenage girl, doublings, risky decisions, a disguise based on a wig and a false name and knowledge of the administration of a poison. Its deployment of generic codes is powerful, with its subtle distribution of knowledge, and restrained use of jump scares, all framed by the compelling ethical question of whether Rose, adopted as a baby, has a right to knowledge of her biological parentage.

So Myer, Sight & Sound

A knockout film akin to Greek tragedy or even Michael Haneke’s ice-cold examinations of bourgeois misery and hypocrisy. Yet the pair are directors of inspired focus and perspectives, as well as tremendous aesthetic playfulness. Really, they’re plotting a creative course all by themselves and Irish cinema will benefit greatly!

Martyn Conterio, CineVue

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: N/A
  • Distribution: Hyde Park Entertainment
  • Cinematography: Tom Comerford
  • Editing: Christine Molloy
  • Music: Stephen McKeon
  • Sound: Jm Finch
  • Production design: Emma Lowney