Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Jessie Buckley’

Jessie Buckley

“WILD ROSE” My rating: B

101 minutes | MPAA rating: R

The struggling young artist with an impossible musical dream has been a movie staple since the advent of sound.

Tom Harper’s “Wild Rose” recycles many of the usual tropes before putting a distinctive spin on the genre; above all else this Scottish film heralds the arrival of Jessie Buckley as a major talent.

We’ve seen the Irish-born Buckley before. In 2013’s “Beast” she played a withdrawn girl who falls for a boy who may be a serial killer; she was terrific but the movie was too much of a downer to create much buzz.

This is not the case with “Wild Rose.”

We meet Buckley’s Rose-Lynn on her last day in prison on a drug conviction. Outfitted with an ankle monitor (which she hides inside a pair of white cowboy boots) she returns to the two young children she left behind — though not before a quick shag in the park with her ex and a visit to Glasgow’s version of the Grand Ole Opry, a country music emporium that was once her home base.

The homecoming is strained. Her son and daughter have all but forgotten her and her mother (the great Julie Waters), who has been caring for them in Rose-Lynn’s absence, is more than a little dubious of her errant daughter’s commitment to responsibility.

Here’s the thing: Rose-Lynn isn’t just an accomplished screwup (though she is); she’s also  a country music fanatic whose forearm bears a tattoo reading “Three chords and the truth,” her explanation of country music’s essence. All her life she has dreamed of singing professionally…but a Scottish country singer? C’mon.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Johnny Flynn, Jessie Buckley

“BEAST”  My rating: B- 

107 minutes | MPAA rating: R

A gnarly character study posing as a serial killer thriller, Michael Pearce’s “Beast” very nearly defies description.

On its most graspable narrative level it’s about a socially challenged young woman who falls hard for a local lad, then begins to suspect that he may be the murderer terrorizing the island on which they live.

But it’s also a wince-worthy portrayal of a destructive family dynamic, of sexual rapture after a life of chastity, and of a hermetically-sealed society driven off the rails by paranoia and panic.

Which is a lot to cram into one movie.  With his first feature writer/director Pearce sometimes struggles to keep it all in balance, but thanks to solid performances he delivers the modest goods.

Moll (Jessie Buckley) is such an outsider she seems a stranger even at her own birthday party.  With an explosion of unkempt red hair and a personality that seems always in retreat, she’s a perennial misfit.

Moll works occasionally as a tour guide — like filmmaker Pearce she lives on the Isle of Jersey, an outpost of stiff-upper-lip Britishness just off the hedonistic French coast — but mostly she’s  caretaker to her dimentia-riddled father. She’s more or less cast in that role by the rest of the family, especially her domineering and icily biting mother (Geraldine James), who treats her like a con on probation.

Which, in a sense, Moll is.  Fourteen years earlier she used a pair of scissors to skewer a bullying classmate. She still hasn’t lived down her reputation as violently unstable. (more…)

Read Full Post »