Wild Rose movie poster
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Wild Rose
Wild Rose movie poster

Wild Rose Movie Review

Apparently Scots have an affliction: some of them like country music. Some of them even like country music enough that they want to sing it. Some of them even love country music so much they want to be country music stars.

American corruption has no bounds.

Wild Rose, from director Tom Harper and screenwriter Nicole Taylor, is an engaging, uplifting drama about shooting for the stars to achieve your dreams. Even if you have the slightest, slimmest of shots. It’s good enough—or at least the music is good enough—that it almost made me like country music.

Almost.

Jessie Buckley (Chernobyl) absolutely owns the movie, injecting a spirited energy into every pore of the production. Her character shines brightly even as every obstacle—many of her own character’s making—stack up against her. She’s terrific in the movie and has a mesmerizing voice that makes you believe she’s a country star in the making.

The story itself isn’t anything we haven’t seen before—a down-on-her-luck individual fights to overcome her downtrodden upbringing—but between the unique hook of having a Scot striving to go to Nashville and the pure electricity of the screenplay and the cast that brings the story to life, it more than holds its own.

The movie does sputter just as it’s getting strong, Rose-Lynn’s sudden decision in the film’s final minutes somewhat abrasive and not all that well explained. Harper needed about ten more minutes to play up the why of her decision—it just didn’t make sense, at least without forcing the audience to connect a few too many dots. He could have gotten to the same conclusion—it’s not a poor choice—but the lead-up needed significantly more fleshing out.

Wild Rose isn’t groundbreaking cinema, but a great performance by Jessie Buckley, strong behind-the-scenes work by Harper, Taylor and the rest of the crew, and *cough* admittedly captivating music makes this film well worth the journey.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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