"Christine Malloy and Joe Lawlor’s film is one of the best screen depictions of the internal struggle of being adopted, perfectly realising a character’s permanent sense of existential displacement, and constant worries that she’s not living the life she was intended for. I was absolutely floored by this film." - Alistair Ryder, Film Inquiry

"Its emotional dilemmas, depictions of trauma, revenge and fractured family ties are handled with such skill and sense of purpose, it is truly exemplary filmmaking." - Martyn Conterio, CineVue

In their evocative and powerful ROSE PLAYS JULIE, writers/directors Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor reckon with the reverberations of a crime twenty years after it was committed, and put a new spin on the revenge thriller. Rose (played with a wide, unwavering gaze by newcomer Ann Skelly) is a quiet and observant veterinary student who was raised as an only child by her adoptive parents. After discovering the identity of her birth mother, Ellen (Orla Brady), Rose becomes fixated on her life, and makes contact. Ellen, now a successful actress and mother to another daughter, confesses to the estranged Rose the shocking truth of her conception, and the reason for her abandonment. Rose's attention then turns to the identity of her biological father, Peter (a chilling Aiden Gillen). Pretending to be "Julie", a young actress doing research for a part, Rose dangerously discovers that time has not changed who he is at his core. ROSE PLAYS JULIE is a tense, psychological puzzle of guilt and grief, delivering powerful performances from its cast and a savage final act for its haunted trio. (Rebecca Fons)

The Gene Siskel Film Center is proud to present films and programs that entertain, inform and challenge audiences. Based on lived experiences, the content we put on our screens may impact our individual audiences in different ways. To that end, when possible and appropriate, we include an online content consideration on film and program titles that may include potentially harmful content, depictions or themes. We encourage audiences to also inform themselves on the content of films and programs by reading synopses, watching trailers, and exploring film reviews. If you have questions, concerns or would like to provide feedback, please email Director of Programming Rebecca Fons (rfons@artic.edu). Thank you for being part of our effort to make all Film Center audiences feel safe and welcome in our spaces.

Please note that ROSE PLAYS JULIE contains the theme of sexual assault, and includes realistic depictions of veterinary procedures.

Awards & Nominations

Official Selection: AFI EU Film Festival; Hamptons International Film Festival; Greenwich International Film Festival