Ladybird Ladybird opens with actor Crissy Rock’s character “Maggie” giving the performance of a lifetime: her version of Bette Midler’s “The Rose”. “Maggie” is giving this performance everything she’s got. What the audience sees is a dynamically-moving, weary-eyed delivery of this (let’s face it) kind of corny old song. Rock too is giving the performance of a lifetime, showing the spectator everything they need to know about this character in the span of just a few well-chosen moments. That is if they are paying attention. “Maggie” exists in the minutiae of Ken Loach’s deceptively realistic world as presented on screen.
No other director has become so synonymous with the working class as Loach, yet his films retain a fairytale-like quality that works almost in direct opposition to his dedication to authenticity. In films such as Ladybird Ladybird these elements work together seamlessly, woven together by Rock’s daring, risky turn. “Maggie” is a real woman, a believable, three-dimensional creation, and Rock is not just an actress pretending to be one. Her own background, filled with startling abuse insured the kind of authenticity that viewers had come to expect from a Loach film.