- 15 Apr 19
Jessie Buckley gives star-making turn in rousing coming-of-age film.
Let the record show: we called it. When Hot Press reviewed Kerry-born actress Jessie Buckley’s performance in psychosexual indie drama Beast a year ago, we knew that her captivating performance was merely the beginning of a remarkable film career. And with Wild Rose, Buckley is showing that she is indeed an unstoppable force.
Directed by Tom Harper and written by Nicole Taylor, this intelligent, emotional musical fable sees Buckley play Rose Lynn; a wild, brash, drink-swilling, scrap-seeking singer with a big voice – and a big dream to match. Never seen without her white cowboy boots and fringed jacket, she is determined to become a country singer in Nashville, which seems a million miles away from her existence in Glasgow, where she has a criminal record and two young children.
Rose Lynn feels trapped and rebels through self-destruction. Failing to commit fully to either her dream or her family, she alternately inspires and frustrates the people around her, including her mother (Julie Walters) and her wealthy, supportive boss, Susannah (Sophie Okonedo).
Like her character, Buckley is a force to be reckoned with onscreen. Charming and charismatic, vulnerable and enraging, her performance is incredible – and that’s even before she sings. Buckley’s voice is phenomenal, and she imbues Rose Lynn’s beloved country music with power and emotion. The genre of “three chords and the truth” is the only way Rose Lynn knows how to express the desire, vulnerability and ambition hidden under the beer and bravado.
But Taylor’s perceptive script shows how often, success can seem as terrifying as failure, if not more so. This fear can be heightened by the expectations on women to sacrifice their dreams for their family: it’s a theme that plays out across the subtly complex relationship between the women depicted onscreen.
A rousing, refreshing and layered journey of self-discovery, Wild Rose offers up music and truth – but it’s Buckley who brings it all to life.
Jessie Buckley is on the cover of Hot Press' annual Best of Ireland issue, which you can buy here: