Opening 8 May 2014
Middle-aged Lorenz Meran is called to his home town, Altstätten, Switzerland, to see about the needs of his elderly mother, Rosie. He is the logical person to “do something about mother” since he is single with no other family obligations, and anyway, his career has reached a kind of mid-life-crisis standstill. He needs a short break. He imagines putting her into a home and returning quickly to his real life in swinging, gay Berlin. Think again. His mother, fighting for her independence, refuses any outside help much less a senior citizens’ home. Lorenz realizes that the solution will take more time and planning than he originally thought. He settles in for the long haul, which gives him time to rethink his own life, learn family secrets, and fall in love.
Actress Sibylle Brunner definitely carries the film with her excellent portrayal of Rosie. She is tragic, but also very funny, very human. She can even convince us that perhaps “sometimes it’s better if the old person just dies.” A great plus factor is that the musical soundtrack is played sparingly, only where it seems logical, e.g., opera music on the car radio while Lorenz runs errands. It is actually filmed on location in Altstätten, Switzerland. Lately we have been flooded with films entitled with a woman’s first name, e.g., Gloria, Paulette, Gabrielle or Jackie. All are interestingly different and worth seeing, including this new film: Rosie. (Becky Tan)