NIGHTSTREAM 2020 REVIEW: ROSE PLAYS JULIE

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In ROSE PLAYS JULIE, veterinary student Rose (Ann Skelly) tracks down her birth mother, a successful actress named Ellen (Orla Brady), and questions her about the reasons Ellen gave her up for adoption and why she put the name “Julie” on the birth certificate. Angry at first that Rose has broken her “no contact” request, Ellen quickly warms to the young woman and confesses that she was raped by a man named Peter Boyle (Aidan Gillen) — rather than terminate the pregnancy, Ellen decided it would be better to know her daughter was in another place, being loved by another couple. 

After discovering Peter is an archaeologist, Rose disguises herself as “Julie,” donning a short wig and approaching him under the ruse of studying archeology for a part she has in a play; her actual motivation to discover what kind of man he is. As she moves back and forth between talking with her birth mother and learning more about her father, she hears more of Ellen’s story and starts to feel the same grief and rage Ellen does about what Peter did to her. 

It’s not long before Rose hatches a plan to carry out justice for what happened to her mother, but will she be able to carry it out before Peter finds out who she really is? 

Sometimes you’re just craving a solid thriller, and ROSE PLAYS JULIE fills that need. Even though it’s pretty obvious where the story is going, co-directors Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy drench every scene with tension. And though I found the conclusion a little anticlimactic, the performances are great across the board making this worth a watch. 

ROSE PLAYS JULIE is available to view as part of the Nightstream film festival, from now until October 15th at 12am.

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