Directed by: Tom Harper
Written by: Nicole Taylor
Featuring: Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters, Maureen Carr, James Harkness, Adam Mitchell
Rose-Lynn is fresh out of prison and after being reunited with her children, who were cared for by their grandmother, she decides to make a go of her love for country singing, despite all the odds being stacked against her. Marion, the grandmother, hates Rose’s dream and ambitions and gets her a job cleaning for an upper-class women.
There is a huge swell of love for Wild Rose, it is a popular film. So knowing this perhaps when I sat down to watch it I had high expectations. All of us say we do not let others views colour our expectations or even opinions of films but truth be told it is hard not to.
Jessie Buckley is always a good screen presence, she was great in director Tom Harper’s TV adaptation of War and Peace, so far so good.
The story itself is fun and kept my attention, the directing keeps things moving along at a pace and all the characters are big enough and colourful enough to be intriguing but there are few huge stumbling blocks along the road.
Honestly the biggest hill I encountered is if you sell or deal in Class A drugs and you go to prison for it and are released on licence you will not get into the United States of America. There is more than a whiff of wish fulfilment fantasy in the story. An upper-class lady just loves rough at the edges, sweary, women, she just loves her and her kids love country music. I know children that would not watch Dr. Who because Peter Capaldi was ‘old’ so these country music-loving young, modern, children are at best an amazing rarity. The husband was so clearly a pantomime baddy, the character the audience could hate, it was ridiculous. Why do the makers of drama still use this hackneyed and as old as time itself conceit? It is probably just me but I hate it. You end up with a one-dimensional character whose only motive, often disguised skilfully by script, actor or both, is to be be ‘bad’.
It is not all bad. Clearly the writer has tried to add some jeopardy into the proceedings by having Rose-Lynn messing up on her ambitions, finding out Nashville is nothing like she thought but, rather childishly, every problem, every obstacle, in Rose-Lynn’s life/singing ambitions fades away to nothing rather quickly so that she can get a final denouement.
It’s all too neat, all too great in the end for Rose-Lynn.
This is more like an upgraded soap storyline than anything hard-hitting or gritty but the trouble is I think the makers were trying for hard-hitting and gritty.
Ultimately Wild Rose is truthfully Mild Rose.