Column: Wild Rose a funny feel-good journey of discovery

Cinemaphile by Joanne Sargent

Everyone loves a good, star-is-born story, especially when it involves someone from “the wrong side of the tracks,” and the movie Wild Rose delivers.

Scottish country singer Rose-Lynn Harlan, just released from a year in prison, yearns more than ever to realize her dream of making it big in Nashville. Before her time “inside,” the 24-year-old sang in a bar billed as Glasgow’s Grand Ole Opry, and when she discovers they’ve replaced her, it doesn’t sit well with the brash, scrappy singer. She conveniently forgets that she has a court-ordered ankle bracelet and a curfew that would curtail the possibility of resuming that gig. Not to mention her two children, who have in her absence been cared for by her long-suffering mother.

Rose-Lynn doesn’t bring up the bracelet or her kids when she gets work cleaning the house of the wealthy Susannah. Wowed by Rose-Lynn’s singing, Susannah vows to help her get her big break and gets her closer to her dream, to the detriment of Rose-Lynn’s relationship with her kids and her mom. Rose-Lynn is blessed with talent and ambition, but she’s exasperating as she’s her own worst enemy, but forever blames others for her woes. She’s just irresponsible enough to justify the disappointment of her supportive boss, her mother and her kids, but not so wretched that she loses our support. Rose-Lynn’s is a tale of hard times, failure and finally redemption as she comes to understand what she needs to do and where she truly belongs.

Rising Irish movie star Jessie Buckley gives an incredible performance as Rose-Lynn. She manages to simultaneously convey both her boisterous confidence and consuming self-doubt. Buckley’s voice is phenomenal and she imbues Rose-Lynn’s beloved country music with power and emotion. A touching and funny feel-good journey of discovery, Wild Rose is about overcoming adversity while also offering thorny observations about class, opportunity (or lack of) and family values.

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Wild Rose plays twice, at 5:00 and 7:30, on Saturday, April 27 at the Salmar Classic.

And mark your calendars for a humourous, quirky and insightful documentary, Bathtubs Over Broadway, that shows at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1. This is a dive into the obscure world of elaborate and expensive industrial musicals, previously only seen by employees of the companies that commissioned them.


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