Lawrence is a one-time child sex offender who recently came out of prison to realize that everything in his life has changed. The wife died from cancer, his house is no longer his, and his daughter has been adopted by someone he doesn't know. He temporarily lives in a auto body shop trying to get by, but his past urges are never far from presenting themselves again.
This is gonna be a first for me. Reviewing a film featuring Robert Nolan without actually having Robert Nolan be my main focus. Of course, me starting the review off by talking about him should speak volumes of how much I appreciate his work, but there is plenty of other things in focus on this little disturbing short film. As you might have noticed in my other reviews of films by Arcilesi, I really appreciate how well he can tell a solid story in just a few minutes. But I also know that he has a majority of longer films (around 30 minutes and over), and this is the first one I watch that is less compact.
Robert Nolan plays Lawrence, a child sex offender (one-time child sex offender, but one is plenty if you ask me) who came out of prison to find his wife is dead from cancer, his house is no longer his house, and his daughter has been sent away for adoption. His life is lacking in qualities, and he is living out of his auto body shop. But Lawrence can't really get away from his sexually depraved head. One day he gets a visit from a guy who is there to offer him some deals on child pornography when Lawrence realizes that what he is doing is wrong.
This is about half-way into the story, but it's essentially what the film is about. It manages to be a very disturbing piece without showing anything sexual. There is a scene where this guy shows Lawrence child pornography on his laptop, and the dialogue actually goes far enough to be really repulsive. I honestly can't say if it's well-written or just going too far, but it was effective to say the least! Luckily there is a turn right around this point where Lawrence changes his mind about the whole thing. Even though it feels like Lawrence has come to his senses, you're never really sure and the atmosphere sways between those two states.
Most films dealing with pedophilia, child pornography, etc. in a serious manner usually come off as strong and disturbing. "Scent of Rosemary" is no exception. It doesn't disturb through action, but from the dialogues and mindsets of the characters in this small film. Of course, the fact that Robert Nolan is an excellent person to play a role of a man between good and evil only adds to making this as powerful as it is.