In truth, there is barely enough story here to make a film.
It's funny, it's tense, it features two great performances from two actors and the director expertly creates a web of odd tension where you actually don't know what is happening for the majority of the run time.
The best films of this genre always show a path and provide a takeaway for being a better person.
What a stupid film compared with the books. Thousands of differences without any reason. Rose's beauty becomes the central motif but should be only one under several.
I watched this at home on DVD while my wife was on the golf course. One has to have his priorities straight!It is set alternately in 1942 and the 1980s. Two actresses play the same character, young 20-something and older 70-something.Rooney Mara, all 5'-3" of her, is the younger Rose and Vanessa Redgrave, all 5'11" of her, is the elderly Lady Rose, who we find is in a state facility for 40+ years in Ireland. She was accused of murdering her newborn baby and institutionalized because of it. The institution has been sold and will be turned into a hotel, residents are being removed. A doctor, Eric Bana as Dr. Grene is specifically chosen to evaluate Rose. His task is to unravel hier story and get to the truth. Rose claims she did not kill her child and he believes her.The other key character is Theo James as Father Gaunt.Much story time is given to Rose in each period, the movie is very well made and the acting is first rate. A really good story made into a really good movie.SPOILERS past this point, be advised. As the story unfolds we begin to get hints that Dr. Grene, who is the right age, might be the long lost son of Rose. He goes to his childhood home and digs through a box of old photos and letters, finds his baptismal certificate and a letter from his parents, he realizes who he is and in the end takes Rose home.
This movie should have been an utter tearjerker from start to finish and it was just nothing. Maybe it's Rooney Mara, who is more like a cold fish than a romantic heroine, maybe it's the direction, which was uninvolving, plodding and workmanlike, and maybe it's just the look of the film, which was colorless and ugly.I also could not see tiny Mara aging into huge Redgrave, but I could have easily accepted that if the film had engaged me in any way it should have.There was just no passion in this film at all, and most likely with a different director and a tighter script it would have been a classic tragic love story, instead of just a boring, forgettable waste of time.I gave it four stars just for the story, but the film really deserves far less.
I'm not going to explain the story, that has been done in other reviews. What I do want to say is thisThe end of this movie brought tears to my eyes, and literally almost broke me, because I have experienced something similar. No, I didn't live in a mental institution all my life, but the pain and heartache is the same, it's excruciating, at the loss of a lover, a family member (including pets), and especially the loss of your child. At the same time the movie brought pain, it also brought healing.Many movies can be confusing at first, and some stay that way until the very end. This was not confusing at all, you just needed to follow along, and know that eventually that everything will be clear and fit into place.An awesome movie, exceptional acting, and the music is beautiful, especially the end title "The Cry Inside," written by Brian Byrne and performed by Kelly Clarkson. It was absolutely gorgeous, a masterpiece. Listening to it, and paying attention to the lyrics, is what finally broke me...I sobbed"The Cry Inside" never goes away. Rose Kennedy explained it as follows ~"It has been said, 'time heals all wounds,' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone."