Studio: Swen Releasing
Directed by Benedict Andrews

Oct 11, 2017 Web Exclusive
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As a 13-year-old girl, Una is sexually abused by her next door neighbor and family friend, Ray. The middle-aged man claims he loves her. She believes she loves him. But when Ray's illicit lust becomes public knowledge, he goes to prison, and Una and her family are left to piece their lives back together. Fifteen years later, Una (Rooney Mara) tracks down Ray (Ben Mendelsohn) at his office and forces him to confront the past he worked hard to erase.

Through 90-minutes of dialogue, we and the characters learn, doubt, and debate the complexity (or lack thereof) of their taboo relationship. Was Una in love, or was she too young to discern any other possible reality? And was this a once in a lifetime transgression for Ray, or are his pedophiliac tendencies more pervasive? Writer David Harrower (he adapted the script from his 2005 play, Blackbird) and director Benedict Andrews treat the material as circumspectly as possible, but their approach doesn't prevent the film from losing a tremendous amount of steam after its first act. Una and Ray part and halt their conversation, only to resume it in a forced manner time and again, and the overall lack of resolution or character growth—while perhaps entirely plausible—is unrewarding given the amount of dramatic focus the film asks of its audience.


Author rating: 5.5/10

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January 10th 2018