A stunning performance by Jessie Buckley ensures Wild Rose is a most entertaining movie.
Buckley lights up the screen as Rose-Lynn, a young woman from the poor part of Glasgow on a quest to become a country music star in Nashville. Standing in her way are her children and a prison record.
While a new name to most Australian audiences, Buckley is well known in the UK thanks to recent BBC television roles including War and Peace.
Surprisingly given her rather thick Scottish accent in Wild Rose, she’s originally from Ireland. Her career began in 2008 as a contestant on BBC TV talent show I’d Do Anything in which she came second.
As her role in Wild Rose shows she is an extremely talented actor and singer.
She expertly shows the transformation of her character from a confident, arrogant and reckless young woman to a responsible mother deflated by her domestic responsibilities and finally to a contented stage performer.
When we first meet Rose-Lynn she’s being released from jail after serving a 12 month sentence on drug related charges. Her first move is to visit her boyfriend Elliot (James Harkness) for sex before going to her mother’s house to see her two children aged 5 and 8. Her mother, Marion, brilliantly played by Julie Walters, has been looking after the children while Rose-Lynn has been in jail.
The movie then follows Rose-Lynn’s progression as she seeks to fulfil her lifelong ambition to perform in Nashville. Needless to say there are many roadblocks including her lack of money, her two children, a disapproving mother and no contacts.
Gradually she overcomes most hurdles, with some unexpected twists, thanks in part to her mother’s change of heart and the woman who employs her as a housekeeper – the wealthy and well connected Susannah (Sophie Okonedo).
While some of the resolutions are a little hard to believe, especially the attitude of her children and her visit to Nashville despite her criminal record, Buckley’s performance together with some great country music overcome any storyline reservations.
Wild Rose is now showing nationally at selected cinemas around Australia.
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