Admittedly, I was a wee bit distracted watching Wild Rose because I couldn’t stop internally shouting “I’ve been there!” every time I recognised a familiar corner of the busy Glasgow high street. But this is not a case of sinking into the comfort of nostalgia, Wild Rose is brilliant.
Following a single mother of two just moments after she is released from prison, Rose-Lynn (Jessie Buckley) reluctantly agrees to a cleaning job in order to finance her dream of travelling to Nashville and become a country singer, despite her mother Marion’s (Julie Walters) more realistic attitude. Wild Rose reminds us that when more pressing matters like kids, bills and responsibilities turn up, we must turn down the volume of our own dreams.
Or do we?
Rose-Lynn bursts out of the role she was meant for, to pursue what she was made for, and gives us a powerful story about an even more powerful woman, in refreshing, unsculpted fashion.
In the wake of these heavy-handed, suffocating films with ulterior motives (and only real motivation) to please the masses rather than to actually liberate the characters depicted on screen, this marvel of a movie gracefully embraces the story it is telling.
There is no gooey, forced romance or a super-man to fix all of her problems, just a determined young lady who ditches the rubber gloves for a pair of cowboy boots. No toe curling cringe, just toe tapping music.
Buckley gives a breathtaking performance that can only be matched by her transfixing voice, accompanied by an outstanding original soundtrack and a belly-laughing sense of humour. But it’s the more stripped back, acoustic moments between parent and child that turned it into my favourite film of the year.
Wild Rose deals with universal themes that anyone from Glasgow to Nashville can sing along to, and takes the audience all around the world and back with it. It dangerously walks the line between heart warming and heart breaking, but eventually finds the perfect note to end on, by reminding us there is no place like home.
Words by Liam Docherty