Rose: A Love Story (2020) [Feature]

UK (MIFF 2021 )
Director: Jennifer Sheridan

A claustrophobic and unsettling chamber piece that, while wearing the skin of a horror, is at heart a considered meditation on selflessness, loyalty and chronic illness.

Living off the grid in the remote Welsh woodlands, Rose and her husband, Sam, are utterly devoted to each other. It could almost be idyllic, but Rose is not well. Sam has given up everything to care for her, following a strict routine that includes daily blood transfusions via medicinal leeches. When an injured young woman stumbles into their lives, her presence disturbs the couple’s uneasy equilibrium – and the consequences could be deadly for all of them.

Written by Matt Stokoe (Jamestown), who stars opposite his real-life fiancée Sophie Rundle (Peaky Blinders), Rose: A Love Story is an atmospheric and thought-provoking work of lingering power. Stokoe and Rundle’s genuine affection for one another lends their performances a palpable and touching authenticity that offsets the film’s more brutal moments, while director Jennifer Sheridan’s background as an editor (League of Gentlemen) is evident in the taut control she keeps over her feature debut. With echoes of genre precursors such as Tomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In (MIFF 2008) and Julia Ducournau’s Raw, this films presents a subtle yet startling proposition: how far would you go to protect the one you love?

“Eerily intimate in tone and positioned on the restrained end of the horror spectrum, Rose: A Love Story is a striking feature debut.” – Screen Daily

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