Jessie Buckley - remember her name, she's going to be the next big thing out of Ireland as her breakthrough performance in Wild Rose makes clear.
Why do so many Irish people love country music? Because, as Jessie Buckley's country singing character Rose-Lynn says in Wild Rose it represents “three chords and the truth."
Love lost almost as soon its found, cheating husbands and cheating wives, trucks, tractors, partying and heartache, all of human life is in there and the most talented singers tell it like they mean it.
In Glasgow, where the film is set, 28-year-old Rose-Lynn (Jessie Buckley) is already a bit of a celebrity on the local country singing scene, which – as in Ireland - is much bigger than you might expect.
But she's also a well-known troublemaker with little to no impulse control and her fun seeking ways often lead her into serious trouble when she steps outside.
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As coming of age tales go this one looks pretty familiar, so it's up to the caliber of the actors here to give this well worn set up some serious sparkle. That's where Buckley, 29, (who was born in Killarney, County Kerry and educated in County Tipperary) excels, creating a character that's so flawed and so believable that you often want to watch her through your fingers.
It also helps that Buckley's own rise to fame resembles the character she plays. Discovered in 2008 as a contestant on the BBC talent show I'd Do Anything, she came second overall in that contest but made a huge impression and landed an agent.
Wild Rose is her breakthrough role and she couldn't ask for a better vehicle. Because even when Rose-Lynn is going wrong – and boy, does she go wrong – you will still find yourself rooting for this all too believable young woman who's really her own worst enemy.
What Wild Rose gets miraculously right, from the very beginning, is just how high the mountain that Rose-Lynn will have to climb is. A former prisoner, dirt poor, unmarried, uncentered and unable to postpone any opportunity for a laugh no matter what the cost to her later on, she's a walking disaster looking for a place to explode.
About midway through the film, you may need to take a little breather from her because the sheer odds stacked against Rose-Lynn succeeding with her dreams seem enormous. Were it not for her all-electric talent and her stop you in your tracks singing voice you might believe as I did that she was indisputably on a one way trip to lookalike.
But then she gets a job for Susannah (Sophie Okonedo) a remarkably kind (and rich) woman who notices that her cleaning lady can really belt out a tune when she's hoovering the living room.
It's a fairy tale development and frankly, it's the least convincing part of the story. Before you can say “yes, you will go to the ball Cinderella” Susannah is hatching a go-fund-me concert plan to help Rose-Lynn achieve her dream of traveling to Nashville, Tennessee to sing at the Grand Ole Opry and then hopefully land a recording contract, in that order.
Considering what's come before this moment it's a bit of a rubber neck moment for the audience. Tonally we have been watching a slice of life portrait of a gifted but out of control young woman doing her level best to set her life on fire and then suddenly it's "Pretty Woman," but without a hint of romance.
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Whilst she was cooling her heels in the clink Rose-Lynn's mother Marion (the equally sensational Julie Walters) has been looking after her daughters two children and she's none too happy about Rose-Lynn's decision to fundraise for another trip to clouds.
What her kids need is a mother, not some unfiltered dreamer who can't pass a pub or a handsome man without losing the run of herself, Marion says. You can tell she's had a lifetime of putting the breaks on her errant daughter and she looks like she's at her wit's end.
Walters is sensational as the tough as nails but gentle underneath cleaning lady who has given up on her own dreams to raise this irrepressible firecracker and she lets us see just how uncertain she is if she's done the right thing.
Director Tom Harper also films the back streets of Glasgow with an insiders insight, preventing the fairy tale aspects of the film from overriding all the gritty realism. Okonedo, in particular, has to do a lot with her underwritten role, being mostly the magic wand that waves over Rose-Lynn's head and not much more than that had she not given her character some much-needed depth herself.
But no one comes away from Wild Rose trailing more star-in-the-making glitter than Jessie Buckley, who carries the entire film with her raw and remarkable performance. She gives the film its heart, its emotional wallop, and its comedy too, playing every scene with an Oscar-worthy sincerity.
“What’s for ye will no’ go by ye,” says Marion to her troubled daughter at one point, when it looks like all hope is lost. Finding out if she's right or not makes this film a joy.
Wild Rose opened in US cinemas on June 21.
Have you seen Wild Rose? Let us know what you thought in the comments section below.
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