This scene will forever be the most important scene in any movie to me. This is a little girl who has been told all her life by her parents that she is a mistake and that she is worthless. This is a little girl whose family life is so horrible that books are her only escape. This is a little girl whose parents constantly belittle her for reading, the only pleasure in life she has. And in this scene, this little girl answers very shyly, because she has been conditioned to be embarrassed of her own existence. At first, she answers slowly, and without making eye contact. And in this scene this little girl is beginning to realize that maybe she is special. Maybe there are kind people in the world. Maybe she is worth something.
Mara Wilson retweeted me the other day and that’s all I’ve ever wanted! But also she made me realize a core reason behind why I loved Matilda so much as a kid was because I was a queer kid in a hetero family. I always thought it was because I was a nerd who liked to read, but it was more than that. LGBTQ kids often feel isolated and unwanted in their own family. Even in the most accepting one, you’ll still feel like somewhat of a misunderstood oddity amongst them. And showing a kid who is “different” in their family find love and acceptance somewhere else was something eye opening for child me, but I never really drew that parallel.