The Reel Review
Rose is a Filipina teenager in a small town in south Texas with dreams of becoming a country singer. When her mother, an illegal immigrant working as a housekeeper at the motel where they live, is arrested and deported back to the Philippines, Rose must struggle to survive on her own in the only country she’s ever known.
The story from co-writer/director Diane Paragas is a compassionate, eye opening take on the constant stress and heartache of DREAMers, undocumented minors, separated from their parents. Eva Noblezada’s performance is raw and very heartfelt, without wallowing in sappiness, aided by an ensemble cast whose earnestness and character likability offsets some, at times, clunky and even awkward performances.
The inclusion of country music singer/songwriter Dale Watson lends the film an added air of authenticity, with a poignant score and songs about a young girl trying to find her place in a complicated world.
• Eva Noblezada and Lea Salonga appeared in the filmed 2016 production of Miss Saigon in London’s West End, commemorating its 25th anniversary.
• Lea Salonga (Aunt Gail) was the singing voice of Mulan and Jasmine in the animated Disney films Mulan and Aladdin.
• Memphis-based country music singer/songwriter Dale Watson is known for his fiercely independent, authentic country music that is a favorite of critics and alt-country fans.
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