Featuring two powerhouse performers -- indeed two of the very finest in the known universe -- and having its origins in a play (feeding off obviously incendiary subject matter), we could of course be excused for expecting fireworks. Well, we decidedly fail to get said pyrotechnics. Fine actors (can't be emphasized sufficiently) and smart / sophisticated approach to shooting and cutting are propped up on quicksand.
I watched this because of "Blackbird" which I love. It's an ok adaptation, but not a great one. I missed some of the feelings that the play evokes so well. Had I not read it I'd have enjoyed this more, maybe. I understand they tried to change things up a bit, which I didn't mind (with the flashbacks, background from both Una and Ray, and Una going to his house in the end) but I was left expecting more from this.
Pairing Mara and Mandelsohn seems for me something pretty spectacular, both being capable to achieve great performances even in small projects. Both of them had balls to accept this parts because this film tackles a sensitive problem. The drama was real, the acting was credible and i liked how the story was developed and how it ended. 7/10
An interesting psychological drama about the past coming back to bite. Rooney gives a vulnerable and low key performance, but something doesn't quite sit right with the film. For a start, Una's younger self played by Ruby Stokes, looks nothing like her older self, which makes it hard to take the story seriously. However good writing and a subtle suspense of how it will unfold just about makes it watchable.
"Una" is a very decent movie, but given the caliber of the two leading actors and the topic of discussion I was expecting something stronger. The company/warehouse where most of the present-day action takes place was a cool location for the confrontation between the two characters. The film ends on a somber tone which I enjoyed, but overall... a lukewarm result.
Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn give exclusive performances full of which emotional extremes in this slow and edgy drama from the play "Blackbird" by David Harrower. On the other hand, some of the undeveloped and perverse flashbacks didn't allow to lift up the drama to a higher level and become more provocative as the main characters should provide striking emotional game who's the victim of them and of their past.
A deeply unsettling social realism drama that echoes films like 'Boy A'. The kind of film that leaves you haunted weeks after. The dark heart of human nature left raw for inspection. The worst part is having to conclude that child abusers still have facets of humanity beyond the menace - this is what discomfits far more than simply alienating yourself from their villainies.
This is #provocative for patrons of the Arthouse matinee and you wouldn't need to read the label to know that Una is written and directed by men. Its attempt to show that trauma causes development limbo feels misguided, an adult speaking as a 13 year old, looking more like a fantasy. It plays with "serious" issues but has nothing to say about them, its only sin but a major one.
An often tense and thought provoking reconciliation piece between a man and the now adult woman who he had an illicit relationship with when she was a 13-year old child. It's a great discussion piece and refreshingly original in it's story angle. Mendelsohn and Mara have a strong, believable connection. 3.5 stars