Film FestivalsMovie ReviewsSXSW 2019: Wild Rose Review

Keith NoakesMarch 12, 2019

This will be one of many reviews during this year’s SXSW Film Festival, to keep up with our latest coverage, click here.

Synopsis: Rose-Lynn Harlan, is bursting with raw talent, charisma and cheek. Fresh out of jail and with two young kids, all she wants is to get out of Glasgow and make it as a country singer in Nashville. Her mum Marion has had a bellyful of Rose-Lynn’s Nashville nonsense. Forced to take responsibility, Rose-Lynn gets a cleaning job, only to find an unlikely champion in the middle-class lady of the house. Wild Rose is an uplifting story with an original soundtrack about family, dreams and reality, and three chords and the truth. (eOne Films)

Starring: Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters, and Sophie Okonedo

Writer: Nicole Taylor

Director: Tom Harper

Rating: n/a

Running Time: 100mins


Many cinematic journeys are similar in nature but sometimes you still want to go because of the character you get to go on that journey with. Wild Rose is one of those films. The story was about a brash and immature woman named Rose-Lynn (Buckley). Her dream was to get out of Glasgow and make it as a country singer in Nashville. Being fresh off a one year jail sentence and with two young kids, achieving that dream would be easier said than done. Reconciling her dream with her current life would mean that Rose-Lynn would finally have to grow up. However, she wasn’t alone as her frustrated mother Marion (Walters) was by her side if only for her kids’ sake.

Stories about self-discovery through overcoming adversity aren’t new by any means but there was something about Rose-Lynn’s story that was so fun to watch despite its predictable nature. She was such a dynamic personality and relatable that she was a blast to watch. She may not have always came across the right way, however, her enthusiasm and sheer determination was simply infectious. Of course with the film being about a country singer, the film would feature a few musical sequences. Even non-fans of country music should be entertained.

The best part of the film, without a doubt, was Buckley’s performance as Rose-Lynn. She makes the film as it would not have worked nearly as well if not for her. The film lives or dies on the likability and reliability of Rose-Lynn and she was nothing but thanks to her incredible charisma and screen presence. She was a blast to watch and most importantly, she can definitely sing. Her chemistry with Walters as Marion was great as well, helping to sell their mother-daughter relationship.

Overall, Wild Rose is a fun musical drama with plenty of heart and is elevated by Jessie Buckley’s incredible charisma and screen presence despite the familiar and predictable story. Not to mention, the woman can definitely sing.

Score: 8/10

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