Rosetta, a young teenager, lives in a tiny, dilapidated trailer home with no real amnesties such as running water, to speak of. She lives with her mother, an incredibly irresponsible alcoholic, who spends more time with the bottle than with her daughter. Rosetta life is tough, as she longs for a more stable life where she can be a productive member of society, but even something that sounds so simple, remains beyond her grasp. Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne's Rosetta is a stark portrait of a young woman who is simply just trying to get by. Filmed in the Dardenne aesthetic, the film is incredibly grounded, with realism that hits the viewer hard, showing the details of Rosetta struggle from her unorthodox fishing expeditions to how she works around not having running water. Much of the film is spent with Rosetta, as she looks for a job and a way to get out of her current situation. The opening scene in which Rosetta is laid off from her job because she was a temp employee is a beautiful way to set up the story, illustrating how Rosetta is not lazy or complacent but rather that she is just a product of her environment and the overall harshness of life. The Dardennes really understand the character of Rosetta, a young girl who essentially is the parental figure towards her alcoholic mother. Rosetta looks at her mom and sees herself, fearing that she will become just like her mother. I won't go into spoliers but this lack of sympathy and/or tenderness in Rosetta's life is what leads her to make a poor decision involving someone who actually cares for her. There is a scene later in the film where Riquet, a lonely waffle chef who Rosetta befriends, invites her over for dinner. Even when Riquet is incredibly cordial and nice Rosetta simply doesn't know how to respond, retreating to her tough exterior shell. She doesn't even recognize the idea of someone caring about her and it's an incredibly tragic sequence in the film. While Rossetta is quite stark about the realities of poverty and livelihood, the Dardennes don't wallow in the muck but rather end the film in such a beautiful, hopeful light that is subtle but incredibly emotionally resonant.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.