Jessie Buckley caught everyone’s attention in this year’s Beast as a shy young woman who is awoken by a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. In Wild Rose she is no shrinking violet and the tracks are on the other foot(?) this time. She plays Rose-Lynn, a single mother fresh from 12 months behind bars who dreams of becoming a country star in Nashville. Unfortunately the realities of life, living in a dingy flat with her kids and an ankle tag in Glasgow, make those dreams seem impossible.
Rose-Lynn is supported, and brought back to reality, by her mother, Julie Walters, who has held the fort while Rose-Lynn was in prison and the children’s father was noticeably absent. Starting a new job as a cleaner Rose-Lynn finds her dreams indulged by her boss, Sophie Okonedo, and starts leading a double life. At work she is a single young woman with a unique talent that could take her anywhere, whilst at home she is struggling to relate to her children and can’t leave her flat past 7pm.
The film excellently shows Rose-Lynn’s internal struggle as she bounces between her two realities and the conflicting advice of her mother and her boss. Her mother’s advice coming from years of working class struggle and experience, and her boss’s from a few years of struggle and then middle class utopia. What is achievable in the sending of an email for one is a fantasy for the other.
Wild Rose is a beautifully messy story about figuring out life’s priorities. I kept expecting the film to put a foot wrong and offer up a trite ending but it stayed the course beautifully.