Decent films about adolescent girls are hardly a dime a dozen. Watching the new Belgian film Rosie veer alarmingly close to truthfulness and insight, you can't help but wish writer-director Patrice Toye had trusted in her young heroine more and in snake-pit melodramatics less. Toye has the tools: a moody working-class realism, a knack for adolescent observation, and the open-faced Aranka Coppens as the titular 13-year-old. Alert yet wary, Rosie lives in an Antwerp project with her mother (Sara De Roo), who tries to keep her parenthood a secret while dating, and hangs out with Jimi (Joost Wijnant), a sweet blond boy who might not be altogether real. Rosie herself feels genuine, but rather than flesh her out, Toye excavates white-trash clichés like incest, murder, and madness. Rosie has many breath-holding scenesthe poor girl delicately skating away after getting hit by a car, and later carrying off a stolen infant without any idea how to care for itbut by the end, the thrust is Belgian Gothic.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.