6.2/10
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40 user 99 critic

Una (2016)

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1:46 | Trailer

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A woman confronts an older man, her former neighbour, to find out why he abandoned her after they had a sexual relationship.

Director:

Benedict Andrews

Writer:

David Harrower (based on his play "Blackbird")
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ruby Stokes Ruby Stokes ... Young Una
Rooney Mara ... Una
David Shields ... Man in Nightclub
Ben Mendelsohn ... Ray
Tara Fitzgerald ... Andrea
Madeleine Brolly Madeleine Brolly ... Courtroom Clerk
Richard Cunningham ... Prosecutor
Gary Finnerty Gary Finnerty ... Truck Driver
Riz Ahmed ... Scott
Maciej Krupianik Maciej Krupianik ... Foreman
Mandy Surridge Mandy Surridge ... Picnic Mum
Xanthe Gibson Xanthe Gibson ... Leah
Ciarán McMenamin ... John
Katie Money Katie Money ... Gemma
Poppy Corby-Tuech ... Poppy
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Storyline

When a young woman unexpectedly arrives at her much-older former lover's workplace, looking for answers, the secrets of their dark past threaten to unravel his new life. What follows is an emotional and unflinching excavation of inappropriate love, with shattering consequences.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Adapted from the play that shocked the world. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 September 2017 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Blackbird See more »

Filming Locations:

Camberley, Surrey, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed in new Romney, Northampton, greatstone and Littlestone in Kent. See more »

Quotes

Una: I don't know anything about you except you abused me.
See more »

Soundtracks

Down by the Water
Written & Performed by PJ Harvey
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User Reviews

 
An acting showcase for its two on-song leads
10 December 2017 | by eddie_bagginsSee all my reviews

Una is uncomfortable and unnerving viewing, a film that will make your skin crawl on more than one occasion but thanks to some award worthy turns from its impressive lead performers, Benedict Andrews film is noteworthy as a character driven, dialogue heavy expose of some very heavy material.

Andrews film, which is based on David Harrower's esteemed play, keeps its stage play roots well and truly at the forefront as Rooney Mara's tormented Una takes a road trip to confront Ben Mendelsohn's factory foreman Peter, a man she knows from her childhood as Ray and a man with whom she had an illegal relationship with as a 13 year old teenage girl.

Largely taking place in Peter's workplace as he and Una discuss what happened, what could've been and what they feel, we get brief yet confronting flashbacks to Peter and Una's forbidden affiliation but mostly Andrews is focussing solely on Mara and Mendelsohn as the two competent performers work off each other too slowly tear away the layers to reveal their true motivations and inward thoughts.

Mara once again shows she is willing to be laid bare as an actress in another noteworthy turn while Mendelsohn, who has recently been cast more as a purely bad guy type role, gets one of his meatiest feature film roles yet as Peter.

His far from a likable or respectable person but Mendelsohn plays him to perfection, giving Peter just the right amount of humanity and against all the odds moments of compassion.

It's a role that could've fallen either way but the Aussie actor once more showcases why his regarded now as one of our all-time great exports. With Mara he shares a wonderful energy, while with the younger Una played by Ruby Stokes, Mendelsohn plays the role not predatory but more purely sad, a man consumed by feelings and urges that lead him to make his life's biggest mistake.

Una's greatest flaw as a film and ability too fully connect is strangely with the character of Una herself.

We feel her pain and understand the confusion and mental strain that has been bought down upon her but her reasoning behind confronting Peter and then her subsequent decisions from there are not that easy to understand. For a film that in many ways feels so realistic and raw, Una's consistently odd behaviour is hard to take, even when at times she is a heartbreakingly broken soul searching for closure on her past.

Final Say –

Not what you'd call an entertaining watch, thanks to some dark subject material and sombre to bleak tone, Una is an immaculately acted tale whose flawed characters don't always connect but thanks to Mara and Mendelsohn and Andrews carefully weighted hand behind-camera, this is a bleak drama that's a cut-above many similar productions.

3 ½ Ferris Wheel rides out of 5


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