While it premiered to critical adulation at the 2016 Telluride Film Festival, the drama Una – starring Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn – has yet to secure U.S. distribution. Thankfully, stateside cinephiles can have a glimpse of the provocative drama as a trailer has emerged due to its impending release abroad.
This two-hander explores the complicated reunion between a young woman and the middle-aged man who sexually abused her at the age of twelve. Heavy subject matter to be sure, but Una comes from distinguished pedigree having been adapted from David Harrower’s admired 2005 play Blackbird – actors Jeff Bridges and Michelle Williams recently starred in an acclaimed Broadway transfer and earned Tony Award nominations for their efforts. Harrower adapts his own play for the screen adaptation which was directed by theater veteran Benedict Andrews. The film opens up the action slightly and Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler) and Tobias Menzies (Outlander) co-star.
Early reviews for Una were pretty positive, with particularly acknowledgments going towards Mara and Mendelsohn. David Ehrlich from IndieWire wrote, “An agile, vicious piece of work that’s anchored by extraordinary performances from Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn, “Una” maintains its grip even when swinging a bit too hard for the fences” while David Rooney from The Hollywood Reporter said “The film has a different though no less riveting intensity, thanks to Rooney Mara’s emotionally naked performance in the title role, and unflinching support from Ben Mendelsohn.” All of which raises the question of why no U.S. distributor yet?
In any case, here’s our first glimpse of Una.
Mara, who was nominated for an Oscar last year for work in Todd Haynes’ Carol, can currently be seen in Lion while Mendelsohn (an Emmy winner for cancelled Netflix drama Bloodline) appears in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, also currently in theaters.