It’s refreshing, it’s funny and it will make you cry.
Wild Rose is an unexpected story that manages to bypass the clichéd, well-trodden path of a relatable girl surging to fame. It follows Rose-Lynn (Jessie Buckley) as she attempts to make it as a country singer, despite her criminal record, two young kids and her working class background. It’s brilliantly nuanced in that it is funny, manages to avoid the tempting cheese that can come with these kind of stories, and implements interesting characters that oppose many stereotypes that at this point we’re all bored of seeing. It also succeeds in genuinely fleshing out the secondary characters, making the story all the richer for it.
It goes without saying that Julie Walters shines as Marion, Rose-Lynn’s mother. Her face is enough to make you cry at times, it’s got to the point now where she doesn’t even need a line, she holds all she needs to right there in her eyes. Jessie Buckley is brilliant. I haven’t seen her in anything previously but after this performance I’ll be keeping an eye out. She masterfully captured the extremely complex guilt that her character felt throughout the film in a way that was completely heart-breaking. But honestly, I think the true star of the film is Sophie Okonedo. She plays Susannah, Rose-Lynn’s wealthy employer. I believed every moment, and she gave what could have been a straight-laced, dull character considerable depth. The film opposed many stereotypes and broke down audience expectation about her character flawlessly.
It’s brilliant, and if you don’t leave with at least a gulp in the back of your throat, you’ve not been watching it right, because more likely than not you’ll be desperately trying to hold back a significant ugly cry.