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Patti Cake$ (15)
Directed by Geremy Jasper
PATRICIA DOMBROWWSKI — known as both Killer P and, because of her size, “Dumbo” — is overweight and under-appreciated.
She loathes her humdrum life in the run-down New Jersey suburban home where she lives with her wheelchair-bound grandmother and bitter, bossy mother.
Working in a second-rate bar, she dreams of becoming a rap star and, in concert with pharmacist friend Jheri (Siddarth Dhanajay), oddball musician Basterd (Mamoudou Athie) and loving grandmother (Cathy Moriarty), she sets out to achieve her ambition.
This unexpectedly enchanting coming-of-age saga is a long-time favourite Hollwood trope, notably in those Technicolor fairy tales in the Golden Age of MGM musicals about youngsters — often Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney — who achieve stardom.
This debut by writer-director Geremy Jasper brilliantly transforms what could have been simply a standard showbiz story into a witty, enchanting and sharply characterised gem — Dombrowski is played to perfection by Danielle Macdonald — that is both funny and moving.
Profanity alert, though. The dialogue is, appropriately enough given its subject matter, peppered with what’s probably a record use of “motherfucker.”
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