REVIEW: Wild Rose has shades of A Star is Born but with more grit - and outstanding performances

PUBLISHED: 14:18 13 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:18 13 May 2019

Jessie Buckley delivers a star turn as Rose-Lynn in Wild Rose, which is now showing at the Light Cinema in Wisbech.

Jessie Buckley delivers a star turn as Rose-Lynn in Wild Rose, which is now showing at the Light Cinema in Wisbech.

Archant

With a beautiful central relationship between Buckley and Walters at its core, the film Wild Rose is an uplifting British drama with bite, which gives its leading lady the chance to shine.

Telling the tale of a talented Scottish musician who dreams of making it big in Nashville, Wild Rose stars Jessie Buckley and Julie Walters and is directed by Londoner Tom Harper.

After being released from prison, aspiring country singer Rose-Lynn Harlan (Buckley) attempts to restart her fledgling music career, and strive towards her ultimate goal of making it big in America.

Taking a cleaning job to make ends meet, Rose is given fresh hope by her supportive new boss who has connections in the right places.

Jessie Buckley is excellent as Rose and is perfectly suited to the role after originally getting her big break as a singer in the 2008 BBC talent show I'd Do Anything.

(The show was to help Lord Webber find a Nancy for his West End show Oliver! Jessie didn't win but she captured the nation's hearts.)

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As well as delivering a faultless Glaswegian accent, the Irish actress does all the singing herself, which makes her performance as Rose all the more authentic.

Her character, who had children young, tries to put her criminal past behind her, but is torn between her love for her kids and her true calling. That inner turmoil is something Buckley embodies perfectly in her performance.

The role of Rose's mother Marion, who has been caring for the singer's two children during her incarceration, is played by Julie Walters and it should come as no surprise that the actress produces another outstanding performance. Now something of a national treasure, Walters is equally adept at drama as she is at comedy and here delivers a heart-wrenching turn as the supportive yet critical mother, trying to juggle the interests of her daughter with that of her grandchildren.

Sophie Okonedo is thoroughly charming in the supporting role of Rose's overwhelmingly positive boss Susannah, while the film's child actors are also convincing.

Daisy Littlefield in particular who plays Rose's daughter, shows an impressive array of emotions for someone so young. There's even room for a cameo from Radio 2 Stalwart Whispering Bob Harris.

Director Tom Harper, known predominantly for his TV work on shows such as Misfits and Peaky Blinders, works from a script by Nicole Taylor which has shades of A Star is born, but with more grit. The story takes the audience on a roller coaster of emotional ups and downs and to its credit never tips its hand to which way it's heading.

With a beautiful central relationship between Buckley and Walters at its core, Wild Rose is an uplifting British drama with bite, which gives its leading lady the chance to shine.

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