Stars: Lola Campbell, Harris Dickinson, Alin Uzun
This likeable feature debut from writer-director Charlotte Regan plays like ‘Paris Texas’ reimagined as a cheeky and irreverent council estate comedy.
Georgie (Campbell) is a wily twelve-year-old who has been managing by herself since the death of her mother, making ends meet chiefly through bike theft. She keeps school authorities and social workers at bay via a clever deployment of voice messages and recordings. Ali (Uzun) is her best mate and partner-in-crime.
Her life is upended with the arrival of Jason (Dickinson from ‘Triangle of Sadness’) her estranged bleach-blonde geezer dad just returned from working in Ibiza.
Initially Georgie is hostile towards Jason as he blackmails her into letting him stay by threatening to tell the social services, but seeing that her father seems genuinely contrite about his absence, she begins to warms to him.
Extraordinary newcomer Campbell and Dickinson exhibit a winningly natural rapport, while director Regan wittily punctures any excess sentimentality by intermittently cutting to mini-Greek choruses of locals who have a much less rosy take on the duo. The talking house spiders are maybe a whimsical move too far though. Elsewhere, Georgie’s comically discursive conversations with bestie Ali capture the randomness of adolescent banter.
Regan maintains a brisk, jaunty pace over an economic 85-minute running time, while Molly Manning Walker’s pastel-hued photography imbues the council estate environs with a dreamlike, idyllic summer feel. Gritty social realism this isn’t.
Scrapper is released 25th August
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