Wild Rose (2018). Directed by Tom Harper. Starring Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters and Sophie Okonedo.
A troubled upbringing rooted in a working class, Scottish environment proves to be surprisingly fertile ground for the artistic development of an aspiring country musician in this deeply rooted, realistic and inspiring tale of chasing your dreams and becoming the person you know you are meant to be.
There are certain genre clichés here which are pretty inescapable when making this sort of film but for the most part Nicole Taylor’s script manages to defy expectations by remaining grounded and realistic at moments when more generic films would go for a simple shot of triumphal success. There are a myriad of complicating factors getting in the way of Rose-Lynn’s (Buckley) fulfilment of her dream and the screenplay is chiefly concerned with the point where the propulsive impetus of desire and human ability to dream big clashes with the messy human reality of relationships, past indiscretions you can’t quite shake off and the negligible chances of succeeding at something which all and sundry are also trying to achieve.
In the end her journey from Glasgow to Nashville and back again is gloriously unexpected and undercut with a sly sense of irony as it continually subverts audience expectations of where it is headed. Buckley belts out the tunes with real power and emotion and the film isn’t afraid to wear its rather messy heart on its sleeve.
The all-important message of the tale is that you can’t copy the path of other people if you are hoping to find your own way forward and that your lived experiences and the place you come from are (perhaps the) most important building blocks of the artist and indeed the person you have the potential to become.