Benedict Andrews

United Kingdom, USA, Canada, 2016 / 94 min / English OV with French & Dutch subtitles / Drama

Fifteen years ago, Una ran away with Ray, an older man, a crime for which he was arrested and imprisoned. When she comes across a photo of him in a trade magazine, Una tracks him down and turns up at his workplace. Her abrupt arrival threatens to destroy Ray’s new life and derail her stability. Unspoken secrets and buried memories surface as Una and Ray sift through the wreckage of the past. Their confrontation raises unanswered questions and unresolved longings. It will shake them both to the core.


In his film directing debut, Australian theatre director Benedict Andrews orchestrates this darkly passionate folie à deux, with its luminous cinematography from Thimios Bakatakis and an ominous, propulsive score by Jed Kurzel. Rooney Mara provides a riveting combination of fury and fragility, which collides powerfully with Mendelsohn’s mix of tenderness, confusion and passivity. 

Sun 05/03 21:00 Ciné Utopia EN OV with FR & NL SUBT Public

“The project marks an assured move into film for Benedict Andrews (…) he staged Harrower's widely produced play in its German-language premiere in Berlin (…) Having both a director and a screenwriter so familiar with the bones of the source material has allowed them to be quite free with its structure, at the same time magnifying its psychological and moral complexities. It's one of the more intelligent stage-to-screen adaptations of recent years and should find receptive audiences among moviegoers open to challenging, provocative drama.” David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 02/09/2016


 (…) Delicately threading the needle between a revenge thriller and a twisted romance, “Una” is such a compelling experience in large part because — without exploiting the trauma of her experience, or that of the real women who are forced to carry her burden — the film recognizes that love and statutory rape may not always be mutually exclusive. The former doesn’t justify the latter, but it certainly has the power to complicate it. The film leans into that idea harder than the play ever could, frequently cutting to Lolita-like flashbacks in which Mendelsohn is paired with the raw and brilliant Ruby Stokes as young Una. (…) (The film) convey(s) a crucial truth: For perpetrators, the fallout from rape — statutory or otherwise — is too often a minor inconvenience. For victims, however, the assault is a formative moment, resulting in a wound that may never fully heal.” David Ehrlich, IndieWire, 03/09/2016


“The play has been superbly opened out, and the prowling cinematography of Thimios Bakatakis (Attenberg, The Lobster) and Fiona Crombie’s cheerless sets combine to sustain an oppressive mood throughout.” Graham Fuller, ScreenDaily, 03/09/2016


“Una is never easy. Every time the film could go for the expected, it turns on a dime. Not all of these twists work, but it keeps us on our toes, which makes the situation feel real because it’s working against what we want to happen. This is a messy, twisted relationship, and Una wants us to live in that mess. (…) Una is still a fascinating conflict that would be worth seeing on stage, and especially on screen when you have Mara and Mendelsohn in the lead roles. (…) it forces the audience to sit with tough questions even when we think we already know the answers.” Matt Goldberg, Collider, 11/09/2016

Cast & Credits
Rooney Mara, Ben Mendelsohn, Riz Ahmed, Tobias Menzies, Tara Fitzgerald
David Harrower, based on his play “Blackbird”
Thimios Bakatakis
Stephen Griffiths
Alice Felton
Jed Kurzel
Bron Creative, Film4, Jean Doumanian, WestEnd Films
Splendid Film BV

Born in 1972 in Adelaide, Benedict Andrews is an Australian theatre and film director based in Reykjavik. He studied at Flinders University, Drama Centre. Over the past decade, Benedict Andrews has built up a singular body of work in Australia and Europe. He is known for his radical versions of masterpieces by Shakespeare, Anthon, Chekhov and Tennessee Williams, as well as his stagings of cutting edge contemporary writers. “Una” (2016) is his feature film debut.

  • 2016 - Una
  • 2014 - National Theatre Live: A Streetcar Named Desire