The Rose of the title is Jessica Buckley who, as Rose-Lynn Harlan does a tremendous turn as an untamable working-class Glaswegian just out of prison after a stint for committing a petty crime. She’s a cleaning lady by trade, a Nashville-style country singer by aspiration, a mother of two and an unmanageable rebel, all within the staid contents of her small life.
The twisted charm of Tom Harper’s movie is how often it surprises in what should’ve been a classic “follow-your-dream-no-matter-what” story. Rose’s single driving thought is getting to the Grand Ole Opry and she does, though, rather than a success, the achievement which seemed impossible becomes an epiphany of a very different sort. The movie is a winner, though having this critic chomp at the bit whenever things took a turn toward what threatened to be a cliché for “A star is born” type story, deftly managing to surprise and sometimes enchant as it veered off toward the unexpected. The script is by Nicole Taylor and supporting roles by Julie Walters and Sophie Okonedo right on pitch.