WILD ROSE • Hopping the Pond from Glasgow to Nashville to Realize Your Dreams

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Movie Reviews,   From Issue 887   By: Robert E Martin

31st October, 2019     0

Wild Rose is both an inspiring and infectious film about realizing that to carve out the destiny that you dream about, first you have to find your own voice.

This 2018 Scottish drama/comedy center upon a Scottish woman, fresh out of prison, who juggles her job and two children while pursuing her dream of becoming a country music star.  In a barnstorming and breakout performance by actress Jessie Buckley as the fresh-out-of-jail country singer Rose-Lynn, director Tom Harper connects us to that dream via a cracking script from Nicole Taylor about this erstwhile singer with two children by the time she was 18, who now must find a way to be true to her talent while equally being a good mother.

The three main characters in the film are all women, all very different, all flawed, but ultimately trying to do their best, particularly as mothers. (The other star of the film is Glasgow itself, with Rose-Lynn’s existence so intricately woven into her home city that one of the biggest barriers she has to overcome is believing that she can’t be a country singer and be from Glasgow.

Buckley has already showed audiences what a great actress she is with her performance as Maria Bolkonskaya in the BBC period drama War and Peace (also directed by Harper) and in Michael Pearce’s film Beast. Now Wild Rose puts us in the picture about her wonderful and surprising singing voice.

Rose is someone with defiant self-belief.

Just out of jail and with an electronic ankle tag that prevents her leaving her flat at night – which severely limits her gigging opportunities – she has to confront a painful domestic reality. Buckley has a very nice on-screen relationship with Julie Walters, playing her long-suffering mum, Marion, who has been minding Rose’s young son and daughter while she has been inside.

Almost at once, Rose starts winding up Marion with her big dreams of making it to the mecca of country music in the US. But then she gets a cleaning job at the posh house belonging to Susannah, played by Sophie Okonedo, Susannah is entranced by her singing talent  and offers to put her in touch with a very big cheese at the BBC, going out very far on a limb to help Rose.

Buckley provides a vitamin boost in every scene, and there’s a very funny conversation with her lawyer, who is supposed to be organizing Rose’s appeal against her ankle tag. After listening to Rose’s yeah-but-no-but account of how she wound up in trouble with the law in the first place, he asks whose fault it was. She replies smartly that it was the judge’s, for giving her the sentence - a small sampling of the attitude that helps propel Rose up the stairway to her dreams.

As Adam Graham of The Detroit News writes, “Wild Rose is singing a different tune. Just don’t be surprised when it opens up getting stuck in your head.”

‘Wild Rose’ will be shown on Friday, November 8th at 5 PM at Hoyt Public Library and also at 2 PM on Saturday, November 9th at 2 PM.  Saginaw country music singer/songwriter Laurie Middlebrook will also be performing at both showings.




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