The controversial winner of both the Palme D'Or and Best Actress award at last year's Cannes Film Festival, Rosetta raised eyebrows for its harsh, unflinching view of life below the poverty line in rural Belgium. With its micro-budget and non-professional leading actress, the decision to award the prizes to Rosetta was seen by many as a calculated snub to the overblown, big-budget movies of Hollywood.
Whatever the politics behind all this, Rosetta is undeniably powerful stuff. The title character, played by Emilie Dequenne, is a Belgian teenager living with her alcoholic mother in a trailer park. More than anything, she wants a job and a proper house, and out of desperation she betrays the only personwho has offered her friendship.
While extremely uncompromising and bleak, Rosetta is a very moving drama with an assured performance by Dequenne. There is a danger of Blair Witch-style shaky-camera motion sickness while watching, however, so avoid sitting too close to the screen.