TIFF 2022: “Wildflower”

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

We don’t get to choose our parents. Once we are destined to come to this world, we already have them. We don’t know if they will be good or not; love us or neglect us. We don’t realize the extent of being a child or parenthood altogether until we get older.

Bea (Kiernan Shipka) is born to intellectually disabled parents. Since the day she opened her eyes for the very first time, the life she had was different from others. Even though she was supported by loving relatives, her parents (Dash Mihok and Samantha Hyde) wanted to lead an independent life, which posed a risk to Bea’s safety. But when Bea became a teenager, she more or less became a caregiver to her parents. But when she falls into a coma, she tells the story of her life till the moment that led to her comatose condition.

“Wildflower” is a feel-good family drama with an element of comedy. When the film opens, we find Bea in a coma, as her family members rally around her bed. Bea’s grandmothers (Jackie Weaver and Jean Smart) are especially worried as they begin to blame each other for letting their children get married and have a child that could be more responsible due to their disability. But what we like about their story is that while Bea’s parents might not be intellectual, but they are very simple, down to earth and exceptional human beings. By looking at them, you can tell they will never hurt their own child, not knowingly at least.

From what we know, Bea got into an accident and is therefore in a coma. But whether it’s true or not, Bea reveals us slowly, as we get to know her crazy family that is as adorable as they could get. Written by Matt Smukler and Jana Savage and directed by Matt Smukler, “Wildflower” is an excellent family drama everyone can enjoy. It’s smart, witty, and does not overload with unnecessary lines or stories. It follows an excellent structure that allows the audience to connect with the characters right away. Its focus is on family, the beauty of it and why we should not judge our loved ones just because they have certain challenges. That alone is something we should let our children watch and learn – because patience is key. And this film provides straight proof to that.

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