British at its core, Wild Rose is unique and affecting, becoming a genuine joy with endless heart and tremendous power
For the character piece that it is, Wild Rose is a faultless look at the chaos of a dreamer; a dreamer with ultimate aspirations she simply cannot reach with the life she currently leads, hiding from the truth and the realisation that she is not how she imagined nor wanted to be.
After 12 long months, Rose-Lynn (Jessie Buckley) is released from prison with a tag, stopping her from continuing her stagnant career as a local country singer. Desperate to catch her break in Nashville, Tennessee, Rose-Lynn feels chained down by the kids she had too early, and a mother, Marion (Julie Walters) desperate to set her on the right track. Championed by her new boss Susannah (Sophie Okonedo), Rose-Lynn sets on her track to stardom, despite her grasping at lies and deceit to keep the dream alive.
From even it’s opening scene, Wild Rose has an incredible affinity for its love of character creation. Rose-Lynn is a picture perfect creation in her own right, and that seems to be rooted in the brilliant direction of Tom Harper, Nicole Taylor’s excellent script, and ultimately Jessie Buckley’s magnificent performance in the lead role. Rarely do character pieces work as successfully, and feel as realistic, as Wild Rose does.
The message it wants to portray and utilise is brilliantly imagined, and feels as if it’s a particularly unique story despite its ultimate predictability. However, the arc Wild Rose takes Rose-Lynn on, is one of wonderful understanding and balance, often swaying from one extreme to the other. This leads it to lay the themes on particularly thick, but it comes across as a mere byproduct of the film’s strength as a character feature.
With it’s clear three act structure and its wonderful original songs, Wild Rose is a British masterpiece of character cinema. Rose-Lynn is an immaculate creation with a truly heartfelt story backing her, and the whole cast ooze both realism and love, with a particularly strong sense of human understanding behind the events. British at its core, Wild Rose is unique and affecting, becoming a genuine joy with endless heart and tremendous power unlike any other British film for quite some time.
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