Dreams and country music come together in a heartwarming story of trial, tribulations and triumph in Wild Rose.
Fresh out of prison, Rose-Lynn Harlan (Jessie Buckley), a Scottish woman juggles her job and two children while pursuing her dream of becoming a country music star. She soon gets her chance when she travels to Nashville, Tennessee, on a life-changing journey to discover her true voice.
If you start with Wild Rose then you have to begin with newcomer Jessie Buckley, and this performer is an absolute revelation. As a troubled parolee, and hopeful country musician Rose-Lynn Harlan who is desperately trying to turn her life around, Buckley is absolutely incredible in the role and effectively holds the attention of the screen. Her performance is flawless and completely natural. Uncouth, loud, wild and broken, Buckley really digs deep here as she struggles with her very real responsibilities with those of her dreams. As you watch her throughout Wild Rose, you really empathize with her, and truly hope and pray that she finds what she’s looking for. Buckley’s vocal talents also get an incredible showcase here as well and as she unleashes her voice you find yourself cheering for this wildcard, rebel character to succeed in her dreams.
Joining Buckley on-screen as her no-nonsense mother Marion is the legendary Julie Walters and she gives one very stern performance here. While Buckley’s Rose-Lynn is off chasing her dreams and having a seriously fun time while she’s doing it, Walter’s Marion is raising her children and getting sick of having to clean up the mess of Rose-Lynn’s life. This interaction between mother and daughter leads to plenty of tense stand-off moments and really fuels Wild Rose with some deep drama. But while there is an intense battle that takes place over Rose-Lynn’s country music dreams, Marion never stops believing in her daughter and this sets the stage for a beautiful resolution.
In addition to the heavy drama on screen, Wild Rose also showcases us the extraordinary vocals of Jessie Buckley and country music fans will really get a kick out of this. From hard-charging bluegrass rock to sweeping ballads and sad love songs, the entire breadth of country music is captured here in Wild Rose. The use of music here really gets you amped up and you’ll definitely want to rock out.
Along with the sensational duel performances of Jessie Buckley and Julie Walters, Wild Rose is also an incredible showcase for director Tom Harper who not only presents a well-thought-out narrative, but also comments on issues such as class and poverty in the modern UK. While Nashville, Tennessee is a long way from Glasgow, through Harper’s eyes the two cities become closer together. Harper’s direction is interesting in how he draws comparisons between the working poor of both the UK and America and through the guise of country music a keen sense of hope is raised here. The director really gives his all to this production and this attention really shines through in a heartwarming piece of cinema.
If you’re seeking a film to make you feel alive, along with experiencing the strum of a guitar on edge then you need to run along and see Wild Rose right away, because it’s one amazing cinematic journey.
Image: EOne Films