PATTI CAKE$

Raps to riches… OUT 1 SEPTEM­BER

Total Film - - Big Screen -

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Sun­dance hit that led Fox Search­light to shell out $9.5 mil­lion for the rights, writer-di­rec­tor Geremy Jasper’s de­but fea­ture is an in­tox­i­cat­ing tale of big dreams, dirty rhymes and fa­mil­ial fail­ings. A hip-hop tale in which the lead is a scrappy white girl, it gets its hooks into you from the very first scene.

Pa­tri­cia (Danielle Macdon­ald, bril­liant) – aka ‘Killa P’ or ‘Patti Cake$’ – is a bartender and aspir­ing rap­per from New Jersey, whose mother Barb (Brid­get Everett) is a frus­trated, boozy sin­gle­ton. En­gag­ing in rap bat­tles on the streets, Patti Cake$ has raw tal­ent, but strug­gles to be taken se­ri­ously as she looks to pin-up rap­per O-Z for in­spi­ra­tion.

With Patti team­ing up with a friend (Sid­dharth Dhanan­jay), a near-mute mu­si­cian (Mamoudou Athie) and even her ail­ing grand­mother (Cathy Mo­ri­arty) to cut a track un­der the band moniker ‘PBNJ’, the emo­tional beats are just as timely as the mu­si­cal ones, the over­rid­ing feel­ing be­ing one of au­then­tic­ity. Never once point­ing to­wards a safe Hol­ly­wood fi­nale, how­ever, Patti Cake$ is about far more than sim­ply re­al­is­ing am­bi­tions. What emerges is a mother-daugh­ter tale per­fectly fronted by Macdon­ald and Everett, whose heartrend­ing, half-cut karaoke ren­di­tion of Heart’s ‘These Dreams’ says it all. It will leave you buzzing. James Mot­tram

THE VER­DICT

A heart­felt crowd-pleaser, driven by a tow­er­ing turn from Macdon­ald, this in­die gem rarely puts a foot wrong. Dope.

Just keep star­ing straight ahead; he might just go away…

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