Dare to be Wild still of Cork coast

Dare to Be Wild

The problem with a film based on a real story is that you always know how it is going to end.

Mary Reynolds (Emma Greenwell) wants to enter the Chelsea Flower Show with her wild Celtic garden and win the gold medal. To do this she needs the help of reluctant botanist  Christy Collard (Tom Hughes), £250,000 in sponsorship, and to convince the show to accept her entry.


On her way to winning the gold medal, Mary is thwarted, but not for long, by cartoonish opponents, like her Dublin boss Charlotte (Christine Marzano), who steals Mary’s designs, and the ridiculous chair of the flower show (Alex McQueen). Her allies are equally as broad brush. Christy thinks it’s more important that he goes back to Ethiopia, and when Mary follows him there they drift beautifully around Lalibela, coming across like an early century Barbie and Ken Savior.

Help arrives magically, and obstacles disappear in the same way. The tone of Dare to be Wild is all over the place, but it is lifted by Cathal Watters’ stunning cinematography. Ireland and Ethiopia have never looked more beautiful.

Dare to be Wild is showing in UK and Irish cinemas from today.

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