VOD film review: Wild Rose
James R | On 20, Aug 2019
Director: Tom Harper
Cast: Jessie Buckley, Sophie Okonedo, Julie Walters
A star is born in this utterly delightful music drama, which sees Jessie Buckley (of Beast fame) deliver a sensational turn as country music lover Rose-Lynn.
A Glaswegian with a serious thing for folk, she dreams of going to Nashville to make her dreams happen. The only problem? She’s just got out of prison and has two small children to support. Suddenly, the wish to run away to another country makes more sense, and Wild Rose becomes less about a young woman chasing a career, and more about a 20-something learning to accept their responsibilities.
Fortunately, that journey still involves a lot of music, and Buckley never passes up the chance to grab a mic and belt out a tune – and boy, can she belt them out. One sequence that sees her escape the reality of her cleaning job is the best housework musical sequence since Mrs. Doubtfire.
But there’s a quieter bass line underneath the catchy riffs. Encouraged by her employer, Susannah (a part fleshed out beautifully by the wonderful Sophie Okonedo), Wild Rose delicately picks apart class and social boundaries with heartfelt nuance. That careful walking of the line is enabled by Julie Walters as Rose-Lynn’s stern mum (Julie Walters), equal parts earnest and amusing.
The result is an abashedly uplifting gem, and Tom Harper directs Nicole Taylor’s thoughtful script with toe-tapping energy, foot-stomping sincerity and an ear-worming track list of new and old classics. Fittingly, it all clicks into place whenever Rose-Lynn gets on the stage, putting a grin on your face even as it tugs gently at your innards. Brace yourselves for a feel-good British hit: this one will rock you mama every which way you feel.