Wild Rose introduces us to Rose-Lynn Harlan (Jessie Buckley) fresh out of jail after serving a 12 month sentence, ankle bracelet hidden under her white cowboy boots, frilly leather jacket and country music in her ears. Rose-Lynn returns home to Glasgow to her mother and two young kids. Whilst her mother, Marion (Julie Walters), wants her to settle down and take responsibility of her children, Rose-Lynn still has a burning desire to make it as a country singer and is seemingly willing to do whatever it takes to get there.
After returning to her old stomping ground at the local music venue hoping to get her old job back in the house band, she finds she has been replaced and is no longer welcome. Rose-Lynn is left with no choice but to work a housemaid. With a recommendation from her mother’s friend, Rose-Lynn begins work as a daily woman for Susannah (Sophie Okonedo). Left alone to clean the house, Rose-Lynn puts on her headphones and dances around the house singing while cleaning. After hearing her incredible voice, Susannah who is burdened with her own dissatisfaction of her overly privileged life, is determined to set Rose-Lynn onto the path of musical success.
Wanting to get her out into the music world, Susannah sits Rose-Lynn down in front of a camera and records a demo of her incredible talent. After sending it to a friend and then eventually making its way to the BBC, Rose-Lynn is invited to visit the studio of Radio 2’s music legend, Bob Harris. After almost not making it to London for the meeting, she receives some important advice that whilst she has an incredible voice, she needs a story to tell.
With the dream of making it to Nashville still miles away, Susannah offers Rose-Lynn the opportunity to play at her birthday party. In lieu of gifts, Susannah is requesting her guests to invest in Rose-Lynn. However, with Rose-Lynn‘s mother, Marion growing tired of picking up the pieces with the family and Susannah not being aware of her troubled past, Rose-Lynn’s world soon comes crashing down. After returning home to her mother in tatters, Marion finally sees her daughter’s heartache and realises ‘if you truly love someone, you sometimes have to let them go’, setting her daughter free to follow her heart.
Jessie Buckley absolutely shines in Wild Rose and perfectly portrays the struggles of a young single mother with dreams that are seemingly too big to reach. Not only is she a brilliant singer (and I mean goosebumps brilliant), but she is also an impeccable actor. Her raw determination and emotion on screen is definitely something that has to be seen. Julie Walters is also just as impressive as the loving mother who just wants what is best for her child and grandchildren, giving that tough love she feels her daughter needs in order to make it in the world.
Wild Rose has everything you want in a film; a strong story with heartache, an ending that pulls at your heartstrings leaving you filled with happiness and wet cheeks, plus the added bonus of pure musical talent. There is nothing that I can fault with this film. I mean, maybe I’ll be listening to more country music from now on, but I don’t think that is a bad thing.
Wild Rose opens in cinemas across the country today.