Rambling Rose (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes

Rambling Rose (1991)



Critic Consensus: A touching. bittersweet, and wonderfully-acted film.

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Movie Info

Rambling Rose is the most part a flashback, related by grown-up Southerner Buddy Hillyer (John Heard). The bulk of the film takes place in 1935, when rambunctious backwoods housekeeper Rose (Laura Dern) virtually invades the Hillyer household. Daddy Hillyer (Robert Duvall), a bed-rock Southern gentleman, welcomes the congenitally amoral but basically goodhearted Rose into his house, carefully fending off her ill-timed romantic advances. But Rose can't help feeling smitten with him; meanwhile, she has also drawn the attentions of 13-year-old Buddy (Lukas Haas). Based on the novel by screenwriter Calder Willingham, Rambling Rose was not the box-office breakthrough that many expected for director Martha Coolidge; though it fizzled financially, the film did manage to secure Oscar nominations for both Dern and her real-life mother Diane Ladd.

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Robert Duvall
as Daddy Hillyer
Diane Ladd
as Mother
John Heard
as Willcox
Kevin Conway
as Dr. Martinson
Lisa Jakub
as Doll Hillyer
Evan Lockwood
as Waski Hillyer
Dale Robertson
as Young Salesman
Robin Dale Robertson
as Young Salesman
Michael Mott
as Man in Store
James Binns
as Minister
Richard K. Olsen
as Chief of Police
Jeffrey Smith
as Stand-In
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Critic Reviews for Rambling Rose

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (6)

It's a beauty.

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Willingham, who also scripted Paths of Glory, Little Big Man and The Graduate, wrote Rose in the early 1970s. Thanks to these sterling performances almost two decades later, his screenplay enjoys a fresh and tender blossoming.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

[A] funny, moving, spectacularly acted little film.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

The movie is all character and situation, and contains some of the best performances of the year, especially in the ensemble acting of the four main characters.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Seen in a flashback through the eyes of an adolescent, this uncommon coming-of-age tale, which raises poignant questions about the mysteries of sex and love, flaunts a superb performance from Laura Dern as the promiscuous girl

Full Review… | October 31, 2006

A quirky, funny but moving story with terrific performances all around.

July 17, 2003
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Audience Reviews for Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose is the definitive Laura Dern performance. I particularly like mother-daughter performances as there is often additional sizzle to fictional work and Dern and Diane Ladd don't disappoint.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Laura Dern is exceptional in this film, bringing to life a character who wants to be loved so badly that your heart breaks for her. I found it interesting that Diane Ladd and Dern are mother and daughter and that they were both nominated for Academy Awards that year. I think both awards should have gone to these fine actresses who made me care about characters in a genre of film that I would usually avoid, that of the sentimental drama.

Luke W
Luke W

Vivid characterizations from a terrific cast. Laura Dern and Robert Duvall are particularly good. Diane Ladd scores in a supporting role. Fine period flavor, excellent score and it?s very well written. Excellent.

James Higgins
James Higgins

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