“Rosie”

This film was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival

The delightful, feel good movie “Rosie” is a sweet story about kindness, friendship, love, and the ability to define your own version of a family. It’s the type of film that leaves you walking on air with terrific performances, a positive message, and a beautiful story with easy to like characters, flaws and all.

Rosie (Keris Hope Hill) is an orphaned Indigenous girl who, after social workers deem her unadoptable because of her heritage, force her to live with her reluctant, rebellious aunt Frédèrique (Melanie Bray), a streetwise artist is on the verge of being evicted from her apartment. Frédèrique lives next door to her colorful, eccentric neighbors and best friends Mo (Alex Trahan) and Flo (Constant Bernard), two glamorous drag queens who work the block to make a buck. Frédèrique desperately searches for jobs and begs the adoption agency to take Rosie back but along the way, they form a real bond.

It’s a beautiful story about refusing to be confined by society’s standards, as Mo, Flo, Rosie and Aunt Fréd check every eccentric box on the form. These lovable misfits find acceptance through supporting each other, choosing to create their own meaningful family while bucking convention. It’s heartwarming and inspiring.

Hill plays Rosie with an irresistible, sweet innocence. It’s impossible not to be charmed by both the actor and her character. Rosie displays kindness at every turn. She befriends a busker in the park, a homeless Cree man, and has an innocence that never questions things like why Flo and Mo always dress in drag or why she and her aunt have a “campout” in an abandoned junkyard car. Showing the world though a child’s eyes is something writer / director Gail Maurice conveys beautifully through her screenplay and vision.

“Rosie” is an uplifting story of acceptance, self worth, and the art of embracing exactly who you were born to be. That’s a message the world certainly could use a bit more of. 

By: Louisa Moore

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