Directed by Benedict Andrews
By Christopher Spencer
Directed by Benedict Andrews, Una stars Rooney Mara as the titular woman who had a sexual relationship at 13-years-old, with a much older man, played by Ben Mendehlson. Una is testing to see if Ray (Mendehlson) still wants her, and threatens to ruin both their lives in the process.
Una is based off a stage play “Blackbird”, written by David Harrower who also wrote this movie, and the story itself is quite controversial. The movie will be controversial, but for all the wrong reasons.
This will honestly be my shortest review because I don’t want to talk about this movie. I don’t want to think about it ever again. It isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen. But there is just not much for me to grab on to positively.
I love the cast, each other is as talented as the other. And in other films I have loved the work that Mara, Mendehlson and Riz Ahmed (playing the only good person) can give, but Una makes Mara and Mendehlson completely unlikeable people. Mara’s Una is trying to be on a path of redemption, of gaining her life back. But the choices she makes and the way the character is written and directed is confusing and invisible. There is no character here. Her emotions are false, her actions are fraught with silliness, and Mara deserves better.
Mendehlson’s Ray is also directed to be a likeable person, someone who just made a silly mistake and everything deserves to be fine for. It’s almost like this movie wants me to root for and be inspired by the power of a pedophile.
Do not see this movie. It will anger, confuse, painfully bore, hurt, and deceive you, and when it’s over, you won’t know what just happened. Una is just nothing. It is trying too hard to be controversial and make a statement on something handled better in David Schwimmer’s 2010 film Trust. Go see that movie instead. Please. Do yourself a favour. I’m going to go have a long bath and scrub myself…