Some very familiar themes are at the heart of this Irish film. A mother who will do anything for her family. The Irish housing/homelessness crisis. Yet it never feels tired or lagging. Though the film moves along at a slow or realistic pace it manages to hold your attention as it has, due to its subject matter and the strong performance by its lead actress, a firm hold on your heart.
A landlord selling a house right out from under their tenants is not rare in Ireland. The country is in the midst of a type of housing crisis in that many, even those who are working, are finding themselves homeless. This is what is happening to the Davis family. Rosie (Sarah Greene – Burnt, The Guard) and John Paul (Moe Dunford – from television’s Vikings) are a young couple with four kids and suddenly find themselves without anywhere to live. John Paul continues going to work in the kitchen of restaurant while Rosie brings the three eldest kids to school while spending the day calling around to hotels that offer rooms to people in their situation.
The screenplay was written by the renowned Roddy Doyle (The Commitments, The Van) and the film is directed by Paddy Breathnach (Freakdog, I Went Down). Doyle has written his first film in 17 years. The script has that feeling of something which a lot of time was spent on. He obviously did his due diligence researching the subject.
The story happens over a span of 36 hours and yet it feels a lot longer due to the tension and the situation the family finds themselves in. How to keep your kids distracted from the situation you find yourselves in. Tough! Touching that it shows how a solid family can get through even the toughest of situations.
Both Doyle and Breathnach have done an excellent job building up the tension which Rosie is feeling in a realistic way. Will certainly hit home with Irish viewers who are aware of the dire situation in the country right now. You really begin to wonder how Rosie is remaining calm with her kids in such a confined space as their car and with the hotels she is constantly phoning. The anxiety. With no where to live, having to try to find a different hotel each night, having all their possessions in garbage bags, no family to turn to, and trying to get each child to school on time in the morning. She is no superwoman in that she does breakdown a couple of times under the weight of it all, but picks herself up each time and carries on for the sake of her kids that she obviously loves more than anything.
It is an emotional film in a quiet way. You will not walk away from watching it unaffected. The Davis are an ordinary family and it makes you think that it could happen to anyone. They seem to be doing everything right in that John Paul is employed, Rosie and John Paul are in love, their are no substance or addiction issues, and Rosie is a great mom. You definitely feel for them. Especially Rosie as she is the focal point of the film.