“Wild Rose” (2019)

Musical/Drama

Running time: 103 minutes

Written by: Nicole Taylor

Directed by: Tom Harper

Featuring: Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters, Sophie Okonedo, Jamie Sives, Craig Parkinson, James Harkness, Janey Godley, Daisy Littlefeld, Ryan Kerr, Adam Mitchell and Nicole Kerr

Country Singer: “No-one wants to see a convicted criminal up there.”

Rose-Lynn Harlan: “Johnny Cash was a convicted criminal , you ball-bag.”

Released recently on DVD is the criminally under-rated film “Wild Rose” (2019) that centres on one woman who dreams of pursuing her dream of becoming a County singer and performing at the legendary Grand Ole Opry located in Tennessee, the twist is that this film is set in the very un country locale of Glasgow. Now it has be said that by the time “Wild Rose” was released there have been so many of these genre movies where someone has a gift and they dream of making it big, that it can be difficult to actually watch one with fresh eyes, so much so that unless there is something truly special they actually are a little unbearable. However, like a relatively recent film, “Patti Cake$” (2017) that is set in the dirty South of the United States there is something not only special but unique at the core of the movie. “Wild Rose” like “Patti Cake$” features a plot that takes into account the lower classes of both cultures, they feature music that is not associated either with the type of person performing or even the locale that the music is performed in and most importantly they both feature performances that are fresh, exciting and acted by relative unknowns who seem far more experienced than they actually are. In “Patti Cake$” it is the stunning Danielle Macdonald, with “Wild Rose” it is the equally enchanting Jessie Buckley who was recently BAFTA nominated for this role.

Firstly, it has to be said upfront that this film by Tom Harper is not original, that is to say the plot is not, however the success as well as enjoyment of this movie is not to be found there, look closer and you are witness to a movie that is about the truth of the characters that have been created they are original as well as heart felt with plenty of emotion to push through the plot. This is a film where the plot exists to solely illustrate some fine acting, original musical performances as well as the strong relationships that exist between family as well as friends. These relationships occur when people are not only color blind but love each other for reasons that only they can explain, where looks, economics and politics are able to transcend location in the world we all live in.

This is definitely a movie about journeys; the main journey is of course by Rose-Lynn Harlan herself who moves through the story like a force, with the inherent ability to push her way through the prejudices of others as well as the innumerable obstacles that come up. But there are major secondary characters that evolve throughout the movie such as Marion, Rose-Lynn long suffering mother who battles her own self worth, the rising star of her daughter, her alcohol problem as well as many other issues.

Of course this movie could not be the success it is without the incredible actors, the main one is a budding talents in Jessie Buckley. Buckley, who proved so central to the magnificent “Beast” (2017), lights up the screen as Rose-Lynn Harlan; a 23-year-old firebrand, fresh out of jail, wearing an electronic tag beneath white cowgirl boots. Her redoubtable mum, Marion (Julie Walters), wants Rose-Lynn to settle down and take care of the kids she’s been minding while her daughter was in prison. But Rose-Lynn has a wanderlust that not even a strictly enforced curfew can quell.

There is absolutely no way to seperate the film “Wild Rose” (2019) from the central performance by Jessie Buckley who is the very centre of this film, by the end you will believe that it is possible for a country music star to come from anywhere even the dark recesses of Glashow. What this film does is to expose what success and talent mean to someone who has no idea how to use one to get the other. It also attempts to illustrate what an ideal or a goal can mean when you get some of the way there, realising that success may mean using what you have to become a success where you come from which is what happens in the closing of this real, emotional and somewhat original film that is a highlight from last year.

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