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  • Films by the Falls Fenelon Falls Secondary School, 66 Lindsay Street Fenelon Falls, Ontario Canada (map)

Rose-Lynn Harlan, an aspiring country singer and single mother of two from Glasgow, is released from jail after a twelve-month sentence for attempted drug smuggling. She learns that she has lost her job in the house band at Glasgow’s Grand Ole Opry, as the manager refuses to employ an ex-felon. Rose-Lynn’s mother Marion, who has been caring for her two young children while Rose-Lynn was in jail, encourages her to give up her dream of becoming a musician to focus on more practical careers and taking care of her family.

Rose-Lynn takes a job as a housekeeper for a wealthy local woman, Susannah. Susannah’s children overhear Rose-Lynn singing while cleaning one day and inform their mother, who confides that she is also a country music fan. Rose-Lynn asks Susannah for money to travel to Nashville and try to make it as a musician, but Susannah declines. However, she does get in contact with BBC Radio presenter Bob Harris and sends him a recording of Rose-Lynn’s singing; he offers to meet with her if she comes to London. Rose-Lynn appears before a judge to ask him to lift her curfew so she can travel, and he agrees. She travels by train to London and sits in on a live performance by the visiting Ashley McBryde. Harris encourages her to keep performing and figure out what she has to say so she can start writing her own songs.

Susannah offers Rose-Lynn a performing gig at her upcoming house party, where she intends to ask her guests to contribute to Rose-Lynn’s Nashville fund in lieu of gifts. Rose-Lynn asks Marion to watch the children in the week leading up to the party so she can rehearse, but Marion declines to cancel her vacation plans, so she is forced to shuttle her kids around to various friends who agree to watch them. The day before the performance, Susannah’s husband pulls Rose-Lynn aside and says he knows about her arrest, threatening to tell his wife unless Rose-Lynn agrees to stays away from his children after her performance.

Rose-Lynn’s son breaks his arm while playing unattended at home, and the doctors at the hospital say they can’t get a cast put on until after Rose-Lynn’s planned performance. Marion arrives to help and Rose-Lynn begs her to stay and watch her son so she can get to the party; Marion agrees but chews her out for neglecting her family while pursuing her dream. Rose-Lynn rushes to the party to perform, but she breaks down and rushes off stage. She confesses to Susannah that she lied about her criminal record and about not having children, then leaves the party.

Rose-Lynn returns home and dedicates herself to taking care of her kids. Some time later, Marion gifts her with a large sum of money she’s saved up, enough for her to travel to Nashville and pursue her dreams again, having seen that Rose-Lynn has seen the error in her ways. Rose-Lynn tries to reject the money, but Marion expresses her own regret about failing to accomplish what she wanted in life due to having kids. Rose-Lynn travels to Nashville and discovers how difficult it is to find gigs and get noticed. She sneaks on stage at the Ryman Auditorium during a backstage tour and sings an impromptu song to the empty building. A security guard approaches her afterward and offers to introduce her to a record producer, but a homesick Rose-Lynn declines and decides to return to Glasgow.

One year later, Rose-Lynn performs an original song at Celtic Connections titled “Glasgow (No Place Like Home)” and receives raucous applause.

The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on 8 September 2018

Earlier Event: May 28
Later Event: October 29