TV & Showbiz

Rose Gold review: Manchester music, heart and camaraderie — captured like never before

A moving and musical watch that feels close to home.

The Manc The Manc - 9th February 2024

Rose Gold is an incredibly charming short film that beautifully encapsulates the essence of Manchester’s vibrant music scene, intertwined with themes of resilience, camaraderie and the human spirit.

Directed by Simon Powell (Girl Shaped Love Drug) and produced by Antony Crank (Coronation Street), it delivers a poignant narrative centred around Rose (Chloe Lea), a young girl grappling with the weight of responsibilities far beyond her years in the early 1990s Manchester.

At its core, the film is a testament to the power of music as a universal language that transcends barriers and brings people together. Rose’s journey sees her navigating the challenges of balancing school, a job and caring for her mother, who battles multiple sclerosis.

However, amidst the struggles, she finds solace and hope in the pulsating beats of 90’s house music.

The character of Rose is portrayed with remarkable depth and authenticity, thanks to a compelling performance by lead actress Lea, who also stars in the upcoming Dune: Sisterhood TV series and won a BAFTA at the impressive age of 13.


Rose’s journey starts from a place of despair to one of empowerment and belonging, which is both heart-wrenching and inspiring at the same time.

The relationship with her grandmother, simply referred to as Nan (Julie Glover), adds another layer of emotional depth, that’ll have you welling up to belly laughing in an instant – highlighting the complexities of familial bonds in the face of adversity.


Central to Rose’s transformation is her connection with Ian (Jordan Akkaya), a charismatic club DJ, and his eclectic circle of kindred spirits. Rose finds herself immersed in a world of freedom and self-expression, far removed from the confines of her daily struggles.

The togetherness depicted among the characters is palpable, serving as a poignant reminder of the community and solidarity the Manchester music scene created. 

One of the film’s standout features is its electrifying soundtrack, which serves as the heartbeat of Manchester’s music scene.


Seamlessly woven into the narrative, the pulsating rhythms of 90’s house music elevate the viewing experience, transporting audiences back in time to the euphoric dance floors of iconic clubs like the Hacienda.

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Overall, Rose Gold is a triumph of storytelling seamlessly blending themes of resilience, music, and companionship into a captivating cinematic experience — a true testament to the enduring power of the human spirit to find light amidst darkness, and a love letter to the infectious spirit of Manchester. 

While this is merely the short film rendition, Powell and Crank (who also plays Bernard) put across such a wave of relatable emotions even in the half-hour run-time, we’re beyond buzzing for what unfolds with this incredible story and characters that the cast and crew brought to life.

Bring on the feature film and keep your eyes peeled for when it drops. Oh, and yes sir, I can boogie! 

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Featured Images — 53 Degrees North – Film (supplied)