Mrs. Wilkinson - Billy Elliot

Mrs. Wilkinson is someone who believes in Billy, and helps him discover his talent; she is a mother-figure person in the film with an emotional value for Billy.
By profession, she is a ballet teacher in Everington. She represents British middle class of those days. She is about forty. She lives with her husband and daughter Debbie. The husband has been made redundant and is unemployed. They all live in a detached house in a better spot and better street, a middle class street while Elliot’s’ live in a working class suburb.
Mrs. Wilkinson symbolizes the feminine aspect and mother-figure person. Living in these days and this town, she has given up any higher goals. She only exists from day to day, there is not much enthusiasm. She is a sarcastic person. She is often shown with a cigarette. The upper class position suggests also the fact that Mrs. Wilkinson drives her car home after the ballet lessons. Mrs. Wilkinson appears to have abandoned the hope to create better life for her and her family. This is to change when she meets Billy but even then she is trying to change Billy’s life and not hers’. Garry Simmons says:

“The narrative lens also distils the life of Mrs. Wilkinson, a strong, no-nonsense independent woman who can see Billy’s talent and becomes his self-appointed mentor and guardian.” (Simmons 120)    

In the film Julie Walters plays the part of Mrs Wilkinson. Due to her build it is not visible that she would ever dance ballet (see fig. 2). She looks feminine, rounded hips, a little ample bosom and not too slim waist.