A young woman shows up at the workplace of her much older former-neighbor to confront him about their shared past. Ray’s (Ben Mendelsohn) new life is threatened by Una’s (Rooney Mara) abrupt arrival, as their confrontation dredges up painful memories, unanswered questions and hidden longings.
Una is an adaptation of David Harrower’s play that shocked the world, Blackbird. This filmic version still feels like a play, in its characters’ movements, and the occasionally forced dialogue. The constant shifts of power between Ray and Una, paralleled by the film’s shifting pace, keep the audience attentive.
The film is made to feel confronting and uncomfortable, through its captivating cinematography that combines an emotional coldness with sentimentality. The unfolding of memory, mixed with the present plotline, makes for a potent expression of an unresolved past longing. Una is a psychologically dense film. Subtle and quiet in its exploration of characters’ desires, it looks deeply into the power and morality of such socially unacceptable loves.
The acting is superb, and while the film fulfills its purposeful moral investigation, it’s ending feels somewhat unresolved. Audiences who particularly enjoy realist film will find Una thrilling and entertaining, while others may find it too slow and subtle in parts.
I rate this film 7/10.
Una is in cinemas from June 22.
You can watch the trailer here: