Buckley deserves to blow up in a major way with Wild Rose, which is not only her best acting role but also the first real opportunity American audiences have had to hear her sing. She plays Rose-Lynn (Jessie Buckley), an aspiring, gifted country singer who’s stuck in hard-knuckle Glasgow—half a world away from Nashville. She desperately wants to make it, but whoever heard of a Scottish country singer? Rose-Lynn has other problems, too: She’s just finished a year in prison and is tied down by two young children she’s not particularly equipped to raise.
With terrific supporting performances by Julie Walters as Rose-Lynn’s long-suffering mother and Sophie Okonedo as an affluent woman who wants to back the singer’s rise to stardom, Wild Rose is nonetheless a showcase for Buckley’s explosive talents. The movie opens with her absolutely nailing Primal Scream’s “Country Girl,” and she only gets better from there. There’s been a recent rash of movies about women singers, from A Star Is Born to Vox Lux to Teen Spirit to Her Smell, and Wild Rose could easily get lost in that shuffle. Let’s hope it doesn’t. Buckley is a not-to-be-missed talent, and in Wild Rose she positively singes holes in the screen.
Wild Rose is now playing at Living Room Theaters.