Rose-Lynn Harlan (Jessie Buckley) has dreamt of becoming a country music star for as long as anyone can remember. But Glasgow is not exactly Nashville and, as a convicted criminal and single mother of two young children, Rose-Lynn is more country song than country starlet.
Just released from prison, forced to wear an ankle monitor and keep curfew, she cannot return to her job as the house-band singer at Glasgow’s Grand Ole Opry. Sporting her white cowboy hat and white leather cowboy boots, Rose-Lynn lands a new job as a housekeeper for the lovely, and very posh, Susannah (Sophie Okonedo, The Secret Life of Bees; Hotel Rwanda). After catching her singing on the job, Susannah’s kids quickly become Rose-Lynn’s biggest fans and Susannah her enthusiastic patron, determined to help her get to Nashville. But Rose-Lynn’s dreams come at a cost. Her mother (Julie Walters, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool; Brooklyn), who knows all about abandoning dreams, has always done what she can to help her daughter realize hers, but she also wants her to take responsibility and act like the grownup that her kids need her to be.
Buckley delivers a vivacious and unforgettable performance as Rose-Lynn, her voice a star of its own. With a confident hand, director Tom Harper brings Nicole Taylor’s beautiful, textured script, full of authentic characters and unexpected turns, to life in Glasgow, a city that, like his protagonist, might appear gritty on the surface, but is bursting with spirit and personality.
Rose-Lynn’s story reminds us that taking responsibility does not have to mean giving up hope. And sometimes when we are chasing our dreams, we realize we were living them all along.
“A happy-sad drama of starstruck fever that lifts you up and sweeps you along, touching you down in a puddle of well-earned tears.” (Owen Gleiberman, Variety)
“Entirely delightful, fresh as a Scottish summer evening.” (Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter)
“Much will be made of former musical reality show contestant Buckley’s phenomenal performances. But it’s as an actor that her RADA-trained register impresses the most.” (Fionnuala Halligan, Screen International)