Yellow Rose Review – Bittersweet Story of Philippines’s Attempt to Become a Country Music Star | Dramatic movies

TAlthough she came to Texas as a child from the Philippines, 17-year-old Rose Garcia (played by emerging Broadway star Eva Noblezada) has been obsessed with country music since she got to her knees on a grasshopper. Now that her father is dead, she plays just for herself, too shy to share her music even with Elliot (Liam Booth), the cute guy from the music store. Her mother, Priscilla (Princess Punzalan), a housekeeper at a motel, is helpful, even if it upsets Rose to do her homework first and she doesn’t like the idea of ​​Rose going to a concert in Austin with Elliot. But their stuttering during curfew time suddenly seems trivial when Priscilla is arrested by the immigration police and imprisoned, revealing that neither she nor Rose have the correct documentation to legalize them.

As it is more and more likely that Priscilla will be deported, Rose goes to stay with her aunt Gail (singer Lea Salonga). But Gail’s white husband makes her feel uncomfortable, so she ends up being taken first by a kind bar owner and later by one of the bar’s regular performers, Dale Watson, here playing essentially in a slightly crushed, but charming show. With her tutelage, Rose’s compositional skills begin to flourish.

The bittersweet trajectory of the story is as easy to predict as a progression of the chord. But, like country music itself, the idea here is not so much to rewrite the rules of the genre, but to display finesse in execution and provide tiny, original changes to the formula – for example, by the fact that the star is an outsider. of the ordinary country music environment. In a way, the film is reminiscent – in narrative terms and botanical headlines – of last year’s Wild Rose in Glasgow, which offered a knockout star change from Jessie Buckley, like a former con who dreams of doing it in Nashville. Yellow Rose is less fanciful, more determined American in terms of setting and style, seriously, but also a less interesting shade – although, from the country’s perspective, the music is better in this film. Noblezada has great pipes and a natural screen presence, which augurs well for his future career.

• Launched on digital formats on December 28.