Yellow Rose (2019) Poster

(I) (2019)

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justchillsd10 November 2019
I just screened this movie at the 2019 San Diego Asian Film Festival to a packed house! The audience, although made up of many with a Filipino background - was still quite diverse with other ethnic backgrounds.

This movie depicted what many undocumented families are facing in America today. We don't quite often hear of the Filipino experience, so this was very eye opening and emotional, as our fellow neighbors/friends may be going through this personally and we may not be aware.

Once this movie is widely released, I encourage you to bring your family and friends to watch! This is such a relevant story! Kudos to the director for bringing Filipino perspectives to the big screen. Filipinos are not only great singers or produce beauty queens, but they have Important stories to tell, especially in this film with a fantastic cinematic debut by Eva Noblezada and backed by the supporting actors and a great soundtrack!
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Not A Star is Born or Wild Rose but darn good enough.
jdesando10 October 2020
Finally, a film that legitimately makes you feel good without burying you in sugar. Rose (newcomer Eva Noblezada) in soulfully good Yellow Rose is a 17-year-old Filipina from rural Texas whose motel-maid mom Priscilla (Princess Punzalen) is about the be a guest of ICE, making Rose a figurative orphan without any backup.

Hidden in Rose's beautiful spirit is a hankering to sing country music although she first needs to sing for others, not just herself. After she avoids ICE herself, she meets some kind folk who will not only help her have a place to live but also give her a chance to sing.

The strength of this music/drama is that nothing is easy and nothing comes soon enough. When she meets real singer Dale Watson (a white-haired accomplished singer before the camera and in the vibrant world of honky-tonk Texas night life), her epiphany slowly begins.

However, in between meeting Dale, writing a song for him, and singing her first composition in front of a pleasant Dale-centered crowd, Rose has to struggle with mom's wish for her to come to Manila and her own sense of home already in Texas. The film is strong because it doesn't amplify the realities and the sentiment; it just lets Rose find her way on her own.

In a way, Jessie Buckley's Rose-Lynn in Wild Rose as a Grand 'Ol aspirant mirrors Rose in Yellow, only with more flamboyant songs and melodrama. Both films draw you in to the characters because of the actors' charm and talent. Yellow Rose has less music and conflict than Wild Rose but a sweeter take on the heroine's ambition: Although Rose barely registers on the emotion meter, her underlying passion is undeniable.

In Yellow Rose the music is sweet and low, especially when Dale sings (He steals the shot every time-now that's charisma). Like this gentle drama, Rose bubbles up to the top and stays with you like a simple country song.
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Quite entertaining...
paul_haakonsen25 December 2020
Right, while the concept of the movie somewhat falls short of what I usually sit down to watch, I must admit that the 2019 movie "Yellow Rose" from writer and director Diane Paragas actually turned out to be a rather surprisingly good movie.

Normally I am not one that sits down to watch country-inspired movies, but I will say that the storyline told in "Yellow Rose" was actually a wide-spanning one, so it wasn't just about the country genre. No, this was a story about the bonds of family, being able to follow your heart and dreams and the willingness to take a chance. Actually there were multiple interesting aspects to the storyline, which made for a wholesomely entertaining movie.

"Yellow Rose" has a good ensemble of casted actors and actresses. I can't claim to have been familiar with anyone on the cast list, but they definitely put on great performances. Young actress Eva Noblezada, playing Rose, was really holding her ground and carrying the movie with a very strong and committed performance, one that had emotion and conviction to it. "Yellow Rose" also had a great performance by Dale Watson, playing Dale, as he really added something unique and interesting to the movie. And Princess Punzalan, playing Priscilla Garcia, definitely also put on a good performance, just a shame that she had so limited screen time.

This movie has a good variety of characters and dialogue, and you very easily get dragged into the storyline and forming a connection with the characters, so that was a good accomplishment from the writers.

I will say that the music for this movie was really complimenting the storyline and added a very enjoyable layer to the movie. Now, I am not one that listens to country music at all, but I will say that the movie they had for the movie was well-fitting.

This is definitely a movie that you should take the time to sit down and watch if you find yourself with the chance to do so. I was more than genuinely surprised and entertained by what writer and director Diane Paragas managed to deliver. My rating of "Yellow Rose" lands on a well-deserved six out of ten stars.
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This Rose Has Thorns
bondscammer9 January 2021
'Yellow Rose', the name of this film who's origin of how the name was given to the main character, Rose Garcia, not with the best intention at all. Rosé is an illegal living in Texas with her mom, always in fear of an ICE raid which creates constant tension. Her talent as a singer, however, gives her a chance of reaching the American Dream, and with the support of local country & western crooner Dale Watson, she gets just as close to attaining her dream as ICE gets closer to her and her mother. Writer/Director/Producer Diane Paragas does a deft job handling the cast, especially lead Eva Noblezada as Rose, is terrific. The entire cast is so committed to their performances, and the music is wonderful, especially Eva's vocal work (who was nominated in the same role in Miss Saigon as co-star Lea Salonga was!) A strong, hopeful though at times bittersweet story full of classic country & western songs and gritty, heartfelt performances by all!
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An Enjoyable Movie About Pain and Inspiration In Music!
peeedeee-9428110 October 2020
This movie was a refreshing change from the last movie I watched, which was Save Yourselves. The biggest problem with that movie was the lack of likeable characters. At least with this movie, you felt a connection to the main character and her plight. Sure, there were some moments that make feel she's just being unreasonable, like when she storms off from Dale Watson. But otherwise, she's just acting like a teen would put in such a situation. Another part I liked about this movie is that even though it feature a teen lead character, and the guy who she befriends from the music store (who actually isn't in it that much), the movie doesn't come across as a Disney channel teen movie. It's a mature film. It stays away from anything dark or disturbing, but it doesn't pull punches when it shows the ICE agents doing their raids to grab undocumented immigrants. And we get to see Rose go through the writing process and finding inspiration from her surroundings and even with help from Dale Watson. Not to say, this movie is about 'how to write and record a song'. But it does show how she takes her real life situation and is inspired to turn it into lyrics. Now, the ending is cliched, and typical of many of these kinds of films, hence dropping a point. And it's somewhat open-ended, because it's basically the new beginning of Rose's journey. Maybe if there's a sequel, it will play out like A Star Is Born? Haha, I don't think there will be a sequel. So, I was glad to be able to see this on the big screen. I imagine a lot of people will only get to experience this on their TV sets. I think if you can see it on the screen, do it. It's shot very well, and the sound is terrific.
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This film takes you thru every emotion except disappointment
mindfully12 May 2019
This story about a girl who chases her American dream in the face of unrelenting hardship is a hero's journey. The director and cast masterfully guide us while playing every heart string. I laughed I gasped I cried I swore and I cheered. Bravo.
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Important story, but poorly cast and repetitive.
blatherskitenoir22 October 2020
The story of undocumented families in America is an important one, and deserves to be told. It's an emotional and evocative subject, which the film attempts to handle humanely and on a personal level. Unfortunately, this film suffers from some bad casting and repetitive storytelling. Bad Casting: Our starring character, Rose, has about 3 acting modes/ emotions. It's like she has separate little programs for "sad" or "angry" that run through a prescribed set of facial expressions and actions that play out the same way every time she copy and pastes that emotion. If you've seen her cry once, you've seen her cry every time. I caught myself being annoyed with her, rather than sympathetic, as she indulged in teenage dramatics. Her singing voice, while lovely, is definitely not country. She favors the big, belting style of soul singers. Occasionally, she'll remember and slip in a twang, but it's pretty rare, and only when she's singing with another country singer. Her Texan accent is likewise treated like a sweater in the middle of summer: rarely put on and largely left forgotten. The bar owner comes across as creepy and weirdly absent; I kept expecting her to turn around and sell Rose or something, instead of viewing her as a kindly good samaritan. Dale, while a perfect country singer, never hits that paternal note, and more than one person in our group got the strange feeling that he and Rose would wind up green-card married. Which I know isn't what they were going for, so the actor chemistry is way off. Repetitive: There are only so many times you can see a teenager angrily stuff things into a bag before you stop caring.
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raymondmejia-8511615 August 2019
Saw the movie at a premier in nyc. Its a really great movie!! I wanted to watch it again as soon as it was done. You will love all the characters in this movie as you can tell they put a lot of effort into this. The soundtrack is amazing and i promise you wont get these songs out of your head for a few weeks. Definitely a must see.
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Great Music. Great Story. Worth the Watch!
Megan_Shida9 January 2021
This is an important film about immigration, music, and the variety of ways we all try to become the people we want to be. While the acting can come off as a bit stiff with writing that is a little too superficial and full of tropes, the music of Eva Noblezada and Dale Watson, along with a critical story about the struggles of being undocumented and chasing your own dreams, make this very much worth a view!
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A sentimental story
Stuckintutorial3 January 2021
Warning: Spoilers
I honestly really loved this movie. I'm not big on country music but my step dad is. I come from a family of Filipino immigrants, so this was pretty culturally touching. Yes Rosie has some set emotions, but anyone would in her situation. Her family is deported, she's still in high school, there's only so much you can feel all at once under said stress. Seeing Broadway stars like Eva and Lea take to the screen was something to see. As for rosies accent? There sure is a lot of code switching, just as any bilingual would have. I enjoyed this movie more than once, once by myself and another time with my family. I will definitely be watching this again, and it will be a movie I will recommend to others.
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broken spoke!
ferguson-68 October 2020
Greetings again from the darkness. Immigration and the plight of undocumented workers is as relevant now as it has ever been. Writer-director Diane Paragas and co-writers Andy Bienen, Annie J Howell, and Celena Cipriaso have expanded Ms. Paragas' 2017 short film of the same name into her first feature length project. Although it covers some familiar topics, the film has a distinct look and feel to it ... the vision of an interesting new filmmaker as she provides a glimpse at the struggles and challenges facing undocumented folks, both young and older.

Eva Noblezaba stars as Rose Garcia, a 17 year old undocumented Filipino living in the outskirts of Austin in the hotel where her widowed mother (also undocumented) cleans rooms. This is Ms. Noblezaba's first film, and she's best known for playing Kim in the stage production of "Miss Saigon". Here, she's the teenage daughter of a very protective mother, and she spends her time trying to fit in at school, while also jotting down Country Music song lyrics in her Townes Van Zandt notebook, and strumming the battered guitar her late father gave her. Rose professes no interest in singing her songs for others, but that and everything else changes in one eventful night.

Elliott (Liam Booth), a friend in her class and an admirer of hers, invites her for night out in Austin at the Broken Spoke, "the last of the true Texas Dance Halls", where Austin Country Music icon Dale Watson is performing. An underage Rose over drinks, but also catches the performing "bug", and loves everything about the honkytonk atmosphere. The youngsters return to the motel just as ICE (Immigration and Custom Enforcement) is finishing up a raid, and are taking Rose's mother (Princess Punzalan) into custody. Rose's mother instructs her to seek shelter with her Aunt Gail.

Gail (Tony winner Leah Salonga) lives in an upscale Austin neighborhood - quite the contrast to the life Rose and her mother have been living. Gail is sympathetic to Rose's plight, but Gail's husband doesn't want to get mixed up with harboring an illegal. So Rose recognizes that she's unwanted and seeks refuge with Jolene (Libby Villari), the owner of Broken Spoke (Ms. Villari gives an excellent performance, though it should be noted that the infamous James White is the real life owner of the iconic dance hall). Jolene offers Rose a bed in a back room of the club, something a great many Austinites would pay handsomely for (maybe it should be an AirBnB!).

Dale Watson turns into a reluctant mentor for Rose, and the two write songs and perform together. Mr. Watson is a natural playing the on screen version of himself. There is a lot going on here, as this teenager from the Philippines proves she is strong-willed in both pursuing assistance for her mother, and in following her Country Music dream ... all while maneuvering through the obstacles of being undocumented. There is inherent racism in the film's title (Rose's nickname at school), but director Paragas never allows politics to override Rose's personal story.
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A must see
emyemyc31 December 2020
A very important story especially for these times. While it's unique (a story about a young Filipina woman in Texas), it's a story that you easily get swept into. Superb direction, cinematography, acting, & singing. Beautifully shot scenes in Texas & the Philippines. A must see!
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I Ain't Going Down
rajdoctor7 March 2021
The story is about a undocumented migrants from Philippines Mother Priscilla (Princess Punzalan) and 18 year old daughter Rose (Eva Noblezada) living in Texas USA. Mother works as a cleaner in a hotel, while Rose while studying and aspires to be a musician. Tragedy strikes when Immigration officers arrest Pricilla and Rose survives in the USA with the help of her friend Elloit (Liam Booth) and a local musician Dale (The real Date Watson) while mother is deported back to Manila.

Eva Noblezada (of Miss Saigon -25 anniversary Opera fame) as Rose carries the film on her tiny shoulder with versatile acting skills and musical skills. She is aptly supported by all the others in the cast. Dale Watson (composer and actor) has played his own self in both the earlier short and this movie and he is the one who becomes a catalyst and instrumental in bringing the hidden musical talents of Rose out on the stage in public.

The story is fresh, and the treatment is light. There are many hummable numbers (17) in the movie and some of them are good. In 2017 Directress Daine Paragas had made a short movie (15 minutes) with the same name and similar story. That must have given the seed to this full-feature film.

The background music and the locales are Austin, Texas are very good. It is a feel good story that every aspiring growing girl will relate to.

I would go with 6.5 out of 10 for this movie.
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Undocumented teen girl wants to make it in Country Music in Texas.
TxMike4 February 2021
Before I watched this movie I had no idea who Eva Noblezada was. I was so impressed with her performance, both her acting and her truly marvelous singing voice, I had to look her up. Even though she plays a 17-yr-old high school student living with her mom, she in fact was about 22 during filming. Earlier in her career she starred in the Broadway musical "Miss Saigon" and was nominated for the 2017 Tony Award for best actress in a musical. Her performance at the 2017 Tonys is easy to find on U-tube, it is worth looking up.

So here she is Rose Garcia, her mom works at the Bastrop Inn and they live there, both undocumented. Rose plays guitar and writes songs for herself but she has a lot of budding talent. When her mom gets taken away she has to seek places to stay and one big help is a local Austin country music star. He puts her up for a while and helps her find her voice and be brave enough to sing in front of people.

This is a good movie and Eva Noblezada is very good. There has to be a singing arc and because she is such an accomplished singer she must sing initially with much restraint. Only as the movie is ending do we witness her full vocal abilities.

I like Eva Noblezada, I hope we see her in future movies. To me there is a parallel with Jessie Buckley, the Irish actress who is so good in "Wild Rose", also an aspiring country singer in that movie.

My wife and I watched it on DVD from our public library.
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all dressed up and nowhere to go
A_Different_Drummer26 December 2020
Great acting, casting, direction, locations. Everything but an actual story.
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Love Letter to Country Written By a Middle Schooler
sweidman-2801621 October 2020
"You can take the roof from over my head, but you can't take my freedom away. No I won't go quietly into the night and I'll sing till the light of day."

This movie should be used as an example. It showcases a good story that's entertaining to watch, but the writing is the most basic script they could write. I found myself struggling with Yellow Rose. The story is solid and everything is pretty good. The writing just feels like a joke. I started playing a game in my head on what would be said in the upcoming scene and I'm pretty sure I won. With the poor writing the movie became increasingly predictable. That being said, the movie is good, but there needed to be more time and thought put into the script.

Eva Noblezada really drives the movie. This is her film debut and she's perfect for the lead. Her experience on stage helped her prepare for the screen. And as a beautiful singer it's great to hear her voice. Rather than hiring a popular celebrity (and maybe someone to sing for them) choosing an already established singer was the right thing to do. The movie is emotional and Noblezada brings the emotion. As a whole, the ensemble does a good job with acting, with the exception of one or two lackluster performances. I'd recognize Lea Solonga, Princess Punzalan, Dale Watson, and Libby Villari.

Since the movie is rooted around music, it does feature original songs. Dale Watson, the country singer, wrote songs to be performed by both him and Noblezada. I personally enjoyed the songs, even if I don't like country as much. But that's what this movie is: a love letter to country. Maybe not as strong as some other movies dealing with the choice of music but it aims to be there. One of my main concerns going in was one of my favorite movies of last year Wild Rose. Obviously the titles are very similar, but the both deal with a lead character, both with the firsts name Rose, wanting to become a country star. Luckily, Yellow Rose doesn't follow the same plot. It focuses more on topic of illegal immigrants and the drama that comes with that. The message is clear but just not as strong as it could be due to the writing. I could talk about all the good but it will always come back to the writing. I like the movie and I will revisit it in the future. This won't be for everyone, either because of the shallowness, country music, or an ending that feels incomplete. I'd still recommend it as an emotional yet feel-good type of movie.
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There's no drama and VERY LITTLE music ...
markadmoore22 December 2020
... and what music there is, isn't of a particularly high standard.

It's a Lifetime / Hallmark movie by any other name.

The lead is an entitled 17yo with minimal acting ability; she talks to Dale Watson as if she's the one doing the favour. Then again, perhaps she's just your standard millennial brat'

Don't watch it for the drama, there isn't any; don't watch it for the music, you'll be disappointed - if you can find another reason to watch it, then: silly you!
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