‘Wild Rose’ Review: Buckley Dazzles And Uplifts

Wild Rose

Rose-Lynn Harlan (Jessie Buckley) in WILD ROSE. Courtesy of NEON

Wild Rose features a dynamite performance from Jessie Buckley and an uplifting narrative about the absence of hope. On the surface, a story about an up and coming country singer from Glasgow didn’t stir anything in me (maybe because it does seem farfetched). However, it was Buckley’s portrayal of Rose-Lynn, which got me to buy into the narrative. Her character is a dreamer who has fallen on hard times. Despite having two kids and now a prison record, to answer to these ills lies in Nashville (the home of Country Music). Music to Rose-Lynn represents hope and a path to self-worth. Take that away from her, and she’s listless. Wild Rose isn’t just a film about an aspiring country star. It’s about understanding hope isn’t tied to only one person or moment. It comes in many different ways.

The premise of the film is fairly straight forward ( and we did touch on it in the beginning), so let’s focus on what makes the film sizzle. I loved every moment Buckley had to share a scene with the brilliant Julie Walters. Walters plays Rose-Lynn’s mother who has spent the better part of the last few years having to clean up after her daughter’s messes. She’s been the caretaker for her two children for the previous year. All she ever wanted is for her daughter to start taking responsibility, but that has been easier said than done.

Wild Rose
Marion (Julie Walters) and Rose-Lynn Harlan (Jessie Buckley) in WILD ROSE. Courtesy of NEON

What I did enjoy about Nicole Taylor’s narrative was how they never made it entirely clear if she made it, but they take us on a journey which ended with Rose-Lynn finding peace. Overall the film is a great time, and that is in large part due to Jessie Buckley. Buckley’s performance in Wild Rose is a revelation. Releases like these need a bigger audience so they can take center stage. Let’s hope audiences don’t miss out on this treat.

Wild Rose
Rose-Lynn Harlan (Jessie Buckley) at the Ryman
'Wild Rose'
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