A superb film today, with Ken – Rosie, an Irish film written and produced by the fantastic, admirable Roddy Doyle. Heart-rending in all the right ways, it shows a working class Irish family, four children, father a hardworking dishwasher in a restaurant, who are evicted from their rented home because the landlord wants to sell it. They can’t find another place they can afford, and now are reduced to living in their car, spending the day phoning hotels that accept families paid for by the government, one night at a time. The children, beautifully brought to life by child actors who are so real, we can hardly believe they’re actors, are deeply affected in one way or another. The only thing I’d criticize is that the parents are so wonderful, so loving and attentive despite their circumstances – it’s hard to believe they wouldn’t disintegrate. The mother, played with ferocious passion by the superb Sarah Greene, isn’t a flawless character; she’s proud and stubborn, and her sweet husband is beaten down and a bit feckless. But we love them, and we suffer with them.
Ken and I emerged from the Carlton Cinema with a whole new understanding of what it is to be homeless, to see a cavalcade of private school girls – from Havergal and other very expensive, exclusive schools in Toronto – who’d been having a sports tournament nearby. Their faces were painted with streaks of “Indian paint” as they giggled and shrieked and climbed into their vast new busses – or into the waiting Lexus, as a few did while we watched. I thought, they should all be forced to watch Rosie.
From the Los Angeles Times:
wrote “Rosie” after hearing a radio news report about how Dublin’s acute
shortage of rental properties means even people with steady jobs have
difficulty finding places to live. Unlike
other writers who’ve taken on stories like this, Doyle has the gift of creating
characters in extreme situations without hitting you over the head with their
We know this situation is taking place, in one way or another, all over this city. If you have the chance, please see it. It’s the kind of film that will root in your gut and stay there. In all the right ways.
It’s the State of the Union right now, the last thing on earth I want to see. Pete Buttigieg (is that how you spell it?) all the way! Please God may the orange curse be lifted from the earth.
As an antidote, I offer this, my beloved grandsons and their friend Inaya scribbling on the paper tablecloth at the restaurant we ate at before Beethoven. May they have a sane, safe world to grow up in. May they always, always, have a home.