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Wild Rose (2019)

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Wild Rose won rave notices from critics in Toronto, where NEON snapped up the picture's American distribution rights. Buckley delighted festival-goers when she sang some numbers from the film at an outside concert

 a movie starring Jessie Buckley as a Glaswegian mother of two who has country music in her soul.

Buckley plays Rose-Lynn, a young woman just released from a year in jail for a drugs offence, who dreams, improbably, of singing in Nashville.

As directed by Tom Harper (who cast the Irish actress in War & Peace for the BBC) and with a script by Nicole Taylor, Wild Rose is a powerful drama driven by women — Julie Walters appears as Rose-Lynn's mother and Sophie Okonedo plays a wealthy local woman who recognises the would-be singer's potential.

A movie about a Scot woman now out of prison who yearns to sing in Nashville.  

This sounds like a really interesting movie about people we can like and cheer for.  And it sounds worth waiting for.

Scroll past the James Bond stuff for the Wild Rose article.

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The Wild Story of How Mary Steenburgen Wrote the Best Original Movie Song of the Year

(this is a great story worth reading but here are some of the highlights)


Oscar-winning actress Mary Steenburgen went under the knife for a routine surgery in 2009. Hours later, she woke up as a different person — and became a great songwriter.

The bizarre odyssey of how Oscar-winning actress Mary Steenburgen came to co-write the euphoric power-ballad that Jessie Buckley performs at the end of “Wild Rose” — easily the year’s best original movie song — began 10 years ago, when the “Melvin and Howard” star woke up after a minor arm surgery feeling like her mind was on fire.

“I felt strange as soon as the anesthesia started to wear off,” Steenburgen said. “The best way I can describe it is that it just felt like my brain was only music, and that everything anybody said to me became musical. All of my thoughts became musical. Every street sign became musical. I couldn’t get my mind into any other mode.”


When the music didn’t go away, Steenburgen realized that she had to do something with it — if only for her sanity — even though she didn’t know how to play an instrument. “I called a very talented friend of mine on Martha’s Vineyard and I said: ‘Look, if I come over every day and sing what I hear in my head, could you help me make them into songs?’” she said. She wrote hundreds of songs that summer and sent 12 of the best ones to a music lawyer under her mother’s name. “He wanted to work with ‘Nellie Wall,’ but then I showed up instead,” she said.

The next thing she knew, Steenburgen had been signed to Universal as a songwriter and was on a plane to Nashville. It was the first stride on a strange path that would eventually lead to Tom Harper and Jessie Buckley’s doorstep almost a decade later.


As it turned out, Steenburgen had spent the last few years toiling away on her own dream of making it in Music City. And despite the many advantages that her fame might have afforded her, she was more nervous about going there than Rose-Lynn Harlan has ever been about anything. “It was terrifying,” she said. “The first session I did was a total disaster, and I literally went back to my hotel room in tears, cried my eyes out, and thought ‘Why would anyone be so stupid at age 54 to think they could do something so new?’”

But she also felt like she didn’t have much of a choice. “I was back at it by the next morning,” she said. “I just told myself: ‘I’m going to go right up and sing the bleeping song if it kills me!’”


Steenburgen’s career experience also gave her a unique advantage over the competition: While most of the songwriters who submitted demos for “Wild Rose” were content to read a plot synopsis and work in broad strokes from there, Steenburgen approached the assignment as if the song were a character for her to play. “I fought to get the full script, because I just felt like I was looking at such a small part of the story without it,” she said. “Where does Rose-Lynn live? What does her apartment look like? I needed to think of imagery that might be cohesive with what the production designer, the cinematographer, and the composer would be doing; there are all these people you haven’t met yet who are telling the same story. And as soon as I read the whole thing, I understood what we were writing.”

That process led to a realization: “It was a really love song from Rose-Lynn to her mother …It was also a love song to her city and a love song to the concept of home and the fact that home doesn’t have to be second best for her or something that she settles for.”


“I didn’t fall out of love with acting when this happened,” Steenburgen said, “and I still haven’t. But there’s so much more capability in our brains than we probably realize, and agreeing to diminishment and shutting down doors is a choice that we all make for ourselves. It turns out you don’t really have to do that.”

And the song in question:

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