Just caught the Gala premiere at TIFF and was stunned by this film.
Vanessa Redgrave and Rooney Mara play older and younger versions of Rose Clear, a woman out of place and out of mind in WWII Ireland. The film is based on the novel of the same name.
The acting in the film is beautiful. Director Jim Sheridan called VR a legend in his introduction to the film and the crowd gave her a standing O at the end. Mara does the incredible job of matching her beat for beat. Theo James (who I've only ever seen in the getting- worse-by-the-minute Divergent series) is downright terrifying as the priest who becomes obsessed with Rose. The photography and direction are top notch as well, and take full advantage of Ireland's natural beauty.
Only criticism is that the plot may be hard to follow if one isn't familiar with the details of Irish/British history. It also becomes a bit predictable, but by the time revelations are made the tears are already flowing so all is forgiven. Otherwise, the story weaves really nicely through the intricacies of being a single woman in that particular time and place. The material is heavy, and rightly so. It's interesting to note the contrast between the way women are treated in the film and the way the plot is so female driven and the two female leads are clearly so respected and credited by their director.
Between this, Una and Lion I wouldn't be surprised to see multiple Oscar nods for Mara.
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