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Read: Wild Rose is a wild ride

All of us yearn for something, it may be a simple desire, or it might be something larger, a mythic ‘greener pasture’ that will change and improve our life profoundly. 

For many its stardom – a romantic notion that life will be so much better being an actor or a rock star. 

Being a star is the burning desire of Rose-Lynn Harlan (Jessie Buckley), the anti-heroine in the film Wild Rose

Our Rose is a troubled lass. Just released from a year in prison, she returns home to two kids she had as a teenager and her disapproving mother. 

Rose is angry and disillusioned – she hates her stifling life in the poorer parts of suburban Glasgow.  Dreaming of a glamorous showbiz life as a country singer in Nashville, she fights with everyone she knows.

Despite having a sensational singing voice and a quirky humour, Rose is very hard to like initially – her aggression and selfishness damages everyone around her, especially her kids. Jessie Buckley has managed to create a character with such depth and contrasts it is impossible not to have a reaction to her, whether positive or negative.  She brilliantly exposes the truth that Rose’s fundamental conflict is with herself as she constantly wrestles with the disconnect between her ambitions and her reality.

The rest of the cast are also very good especially Sophie Okonedo and Julie Walters. The filmmakers have managed to flesh out three dimensional characters who go beyond simple archetypes. 

I won’t tell you any more about the plot because this is a story that is best seen without much pre-knowledge. It avoids cliche and has some surprising twists. It does have some frustrating slow patches, but overall, it is a satisfying watch.

So, does Rose fulfil her obsession to become a star?  You’ll have to go see the film to know, but I will tell you that the journey to the final and surprising climax is fascinating.


In cinemas 13 June 2019

101 minutes

Starring – Jessie Buckley, Sophie Okonedo, Julie Walters 

Director – Tom Harper


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