The trials and tribulations of a 12-year-old girl living alone in a council flat on an east London estate is at the heart of the award-winning movie Scrapper.
Since the death of her mother, Georgie (Lola Campbell) has successfully looked after herself by stealing bikes with friend Ali (Alin Uzun) and reselling them.
She has also fooled social services and her school into believing that her uncle is living with her.
Her plans to continue to be self-sufficient are thrown into chaos when a peroxide-cropped scrappily dressed stranger jumps over her back fence.
That stranger turns out to be her long-lost father, Jason (Harris Dickinson) who has been living in Ibiza.
Georgie’s not happy to see him. Having never met him she not even sure he is her father. Once convinced he is, she’s then angry with him for deserting her and her mother. She wants him to leave immediately. For his part Jason becomes more determined to stay and look after Georgie despite her hostility.
His efforts to connect with her include advising her on the best way to sell the bikes she steals. Gradually, with the encouragement of Ali, and as a result of spending more time together, the distrust between the two wanes.
Given writer/director Charlotte Regan was raised in an estate typical of that featured in Scrapper, the movie has a feeling of authenticity, although the premise that a 12-year-old could live alone without the authorities realising is a little far-fetched.
Further Regan’s use of talking spiders and random direct-to-camera comments by members of Georgie’s community ensure Scrapper has, at times, a whimsical feel.
At the same time the pain experienced by Georgie as a result of her mother’s death and how she deals with it is very real. Credit for this must go to Campbell who gives a wonderful performance. It’s hard to believe it’s her first acting role. There’s a great dynamic between Campbell and the more experienced Dickinson.
Dickinson is also very believable as a 30-year-old man who has never really grown up but realises, despite the many challenges, he should do the right thing by his antagonistic daughter.
Winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize (World Cinema Dramatic), Scrapper features some genuinely touching, moving and funny scenes as Georgie and Jason learn more about each other and realise each needs the other.
Scrapper releases in cinemas around Australia on Thursday September 14.
- movies, reviews
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