CinÉireann / Issue 9 41
becomes a drama as they only have the car.
Back in the hotel Breathnach and crew are back in business as they prepare to film a scene involving the family leaving the hotel room. It's a big organisational task as all of their belongings must be ferried in one quick movement out to the car so that John Paul is not late for work and the kids can get to school on time. The bedroom door opens and the family trundle out with purpose and set off down the hall. "Cut, lets go again" comes the call from the director, forcing an about turn from Greene and Dunford and the child actors, who range in age from preschooler to teenager. All are dressed for the cooler atmosphere outside, but here in the corridor it's warm and stuffy. Nevertheless no complaints are heard from any of the cast as they film the scene several more times. On one action the youngest cast member, Molly McCann, who plays Madison, has a fall, prompting an immediate response from her parents, who are watching attentively from the sides. Bump over, she is quick to return to fray and the scene starts over again.
The narrow corridors, the limited locations, and the quick pace of the pre-production and principal photography on the film (both four weeks) add to the anxious and frantic nature of the main characters predicament. Just before this shoot DoP Cathal Watters was in Los Angeles filming Papi Chulo with John Butler, another film that, along with Rosie, represented Ireland at North America's most prestigious film festival, the Toronto International Film Festival. Coming back to the colder climbs of Dublin was a bit of a shock to the system, but here he was once again working with a director he knows well, having lensed Breathnach's last film, the Oscar shortlisted Viva.
The film marks a return to social realism for Breathnach following Viva, but the director is keen to stress that he was following a good story rather than the political message. "It's funny you know, I like films that are about strong characters and that have a muscular drama about them. And both Viva and Rosie did that and that's the reason why I did them, rather than because of there being any sense of a campaigning thing. I mean maybe I can campaign by making films about something, but I'm a very bad campaigner otherwise. I'm full of doubts and self-doubts and "maybe there's a point there", so never put me on a podium to speak about any issue."
Rosie is very much a zeitgeist film as the homelessness crisis shows no signs of abating in Ireland despite pleas from all corners of society for governmental action. Breathnach is aware of this and the fact that the film may become a call to action for people. "The energy of something like that...it has an energy and that energy is ready to flow out. And it's relevant and can become part of the conversation. It enables people to hopefully push things towards some kind of solution, bring up new ideas and give an urgency to that conversation."
Whether or not Rosie can be a force for change remains to be seen, but one thing that is for certain is that it will stimulate conversation and with topics like this more voices are always something that are welcome. Either way Breathnach and crew are proud of their film ,as hey should be.
Rosie is out in Irish cinemas on October 12th via Element Pictures Distribution.