The feature debut from commercials director Steve Reeves and produced by Isabelle Georgeaux and Richard Holmes - the pair behind Amit Gupta's Resistance (2011) -Keeping Rosy (2014) is a compact and modest low budget drama that nevertheless showcases the clear talent of its first-time helmer. Maxine Peake, last seen in cinemas with Steph Green's superior Run & Jump (2013), stars as a hard-nosed careerist forced to embrace her maternal side after a tragic altercation involving her Eastern European cleaner. Though largely unremarkable, solid performances from Peake and Christine Bottomley (The Arbor) as her straight-talking sister help to lift the occasionally uninspiring material.
Though hardly a flattering portrayal of 21st century womanhood, it's once again easy to see why the icy Peake made such a convincing Myra Hindley in TV miniseries See No Evil: The Moors Murders. Remorselessly cold to friends and family from the outset, it's only after one fateful lapse of judgement that Charlotte begins to gradually resemble a human being, with all the fragility and nagging self-doubt that entails. Without wanting to reveal too much of the one major plot twist which comes relatively early on, Charlotte finds herself having to look after a young infant that isn't her own. Ill-advised attempts made to feed the child such middle-class delights as Ryvita and sushi certainly raise a wry smile (as does a villainous turn from Blake Harrison), but as things become more desperate and our opinion of Peake's former go-getter softens, much of the dramatic tension is rinsed out of the film. Unwisely marketed as a psychological thriller, Keeping Rosy is a perfectly serviceable TV drama that does, unfortunately, feel somewhat out of place on the big screen.