When a movie hits you right in the feels it’s usually because we can relate, deeply.
There’s that strong, heart-tugging sense of, there but for the grace of Elvis go I…
When it comes to recent big-screen outings, none exemplifies this better than Rosie, the Roddy Doyle-scripted and Paddy Breathnach-directed drama that follows a young Dublin family over 36 hours as they desperately search for new accommodation.
It was a Morning Ireland report that sparked Doyle to write his first original screenplay in 18 years, running upstairs with facts and figures swirling in his head – close to 10,000 Irish families are currently homeless, 4,000 of those children – and quickly putting together the basic structural riffs that would tell the ballad of Rosie and John Paul, and their four young kids.
When the first draft landed on the desk of Element Pictures, the Bray-based Paddy Breathnach – who had broken through with 1997’s much-loved I Went Down, and was recently Oscar-shortlisted for 2015’s Viva – was soon on board.
“Myself and Roddy had long talked about working together,” says Breathnach when we met up at Café Gray this morning, “and so, when this wonderful script suddenly emerged, I was there in a blink. Once we had chiseled that script into shape, the whole process from preparation to getting Rosie up on the big screen only took six months.”
Mainly because, with such a strong script, everyone, from producer to child actor, was on the same page from day one. Four weeks of prep was followed by a tight four-week shoot, with Sarah Greene and Moe Dunford playing the beleagured parents, trying to put a sunny face on a dark day so as not to upset their kids – played wonderfully by Ellie O’Halloran, Ruby Dunne, Daragh McKenzie and Molly McCann. Debuting at the Toronto Film Festival in September, Rosie hit Irish cinemas in October, and currently has a 100% critical approval rating on rottentomatoes.com.
Playing at The Whale on Wednesday, January 16th – tickets here, people – just how the film came together, and what impact it will hopefully have on Ireland’s housing crisis, are just two of the areas GG discussed with the bright young Mr Breathnach this morning…
Paddy Breathnach’s Rosie plays The Whale on Wednesday, January 16th, with the director in attendance. And, fingers crossed, Roddy Doyle too. You can catch the trailer here.