Rosie: A Devil In My Head

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

A thirteen-year-old Belgian schoolgirl begins to unravel as she tries to reconcile her own sense of who she is with the duplicitous adult world around her, in this quietly harrowing debut from Patrice Toyes. It's 1980, and Rosie (Aranka Coppens) is coming of age in an industrial wasteland of factories and apartment blocks, a dreary landscape where the only...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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A thirteen-year-old Belgian schoolgirl begins to unravel as she tries to reconcile her own sense of who she is with the duplicitous adult world around her, in this quietly harrowing debut from Patrice Toyes. It's 1980, and Rosie (Aranka Coppens) is coming of

age in an industrial wasteland of factories and apartment blocks, a dreary landscape where the only colors are the blue of Rosie's heavy eyeshadow and the ruby red of her lipstick. Rosie lives with her 27-year-old-mother Irene (Sara de Roo) -- a tired-looking nurse who insists Rosie refer to her

as her sister -- and her sleazy uncle Michel (Frank Vercruyssen), but she has no idea who her father is. Rosie's means of escape come from reading tawdry romance novels starring oversexed Tsarinas, and hanging out with her new dreamboat boyfriend Jimi (Joost Wijnant). At first, Rosie and Jimi

engage in some typically antisocial teen behavior -- shoplifting, wallet-snatching, joyriding in stolen cars -- but as their relationship grows more intense, their crimes become much more serious. Events culminate in a surprising revelation in which it suddenly becomes clear what's been going on

all along, and the mood shifts from a perceptive look at adolescence to something a lot darker. And it's here that Toye, who seems to have a naturally lyrical knack for storytelling, overshoots her mark a bit, hammering away when a little bit of subtlety would have been far more effective. Still,

it's a creepy piece of work, made all the more so by a tense and shimmering soundtrack from P.J. Harvey guitarist John Parish and Coppens's strikingly mature performance. Coppens expertly laces Rosie's innocent adolescent fantasies with a grim foreshadowing of the adult she's about to become. (In

Flemish, with English subtitles)

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A thirteen-year-old Belgian schoolgirl begins to unravel as she tries to reconcile her own sense of who she is with the duplicitous adult world around her, in this quietly harrowing debut from Patrice Toyes. It's 1980, and Rosie (Aranka Coppens) is coming… (more)

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