Linda Cook review: ‘Yellow Rose’ brims with music, hope

Movies

Her favorite song is Townes Van Zandt’s “Dead Flowers.”

Now that I have the attention of the musicians and music lovers, let me tell you why the rest of you should see “Yellow Rose,” too.

This excellent film is a character study of Rose Garcia, played by the incredible Eva Noblezada,) a teenager living with her mother, who works as a maid in a hotel, in a small Texas town.

Rose loves music – country music in particular – and practices her guitar and songwriting every day. She writes about how she doesn’t fit in, and longs for a different life.

Her mother Priscilla (Princess Punzalan) doesn’t really want Rose to grow up – she doesn’t want her to take off on a date with a boy. Priscilla misses their home in the Philippines

Rose and Priscilla live in secret as much as they can – they have no documents, and Priscilla always is afraid of being discovered. When she receives a letter, she shares her fears with a coworker.

Rose does go out on a date with a boy, and they have a great time dancing and drinking at the legendary Broken Spoke in Austin, where Rose makes the acquaintance of musician Dale Watson (playing himself in a marvelous performance.)

An ICE raid separates Rose and Priscilla, and Rose ends up directionless except for – maybe – her aunt, who isn’t too keen on having Rose around.

The manager of the Broken Spoke takes a liking to the lost young woman, and gives her a place to stay … at least for a while.

Will she ever see, let alone speak with, her mother again? Will Rose be able to finish high school?

Every moment, every bit of dialogue, has meaning in this powerful story.

Go to meet the characters, all of whom have their own struggles, but go to hear the wonderful tunes too and see the nods to legends such as Johnny Cash.

This movie fairly brims with life and music.

4 out of 4 stars

Rated: PG-13.

Running time: One hour and 34 minutes.  

In theaters.

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