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Despite Its Stellar Musical Numbers, “Wild Rose” Still Falls Flat

by BUST Magazine


Wild Rose
Directed by Tom Harper
Out June 14    

Theatrically trained actor and singer Jessie Buckley gives it her all in this musical melodrama about a single Scottish mum with big Nashville dreams, but her considerable talent can’t save Wild Rose from its silly plot. When we first meet Rose-Lynn Harlan, she’s leaving a Glasgow jail with an ankle monitor. Her mother Marion (Julie Walters), is a no-nonsense lady who provides the only stability in the lives of Rose’s two children, but Rose seems intent on upending her family at every turn. Buckley—who is Irish but manages an impressive Scottish burr—is infinitely watchable as Rose, whether she’s on stage belting out tunes or bonding with her children and decorating her small but cozy home.

Rose sports a tattoo that reads “Three chords and the truth.” But Rose’s relationship to the truth is tenuous at best. This is especially true when it comes to her new boss Susannah (Sophie Okonedo), who hires Rose to be her housekeeper and falls for her considerable charm. The world needs more prickly female protagonists, ones that screw up, aren’t perfect moms, and are reckless messes. But a film needs more than a wildly careening narrative arc and some admittedly terrific musical performances to hold itself together. (2/5)

By Jenni Miller

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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