“Scrapper” returns to the M.V. Film Center on Friday, Sept. 22, after a run at the International Film Festival. This charming comedy tells the story of Georgie, a dreamy 12-year-old played by Lola Campbell, who lives on her own in London after her mother dies. Directed by Charlotte Regan, the film describes how when school figures call, she pretends to live with her uncle. The film won a Sundance Grand Jury Prize.
Georgie earns money to live on by stealing bikes with her best friend Ali (Alin Uzun). Her fake uncle announces she’s doing fine, and busy eating pasta Bolognese. This cute-but-tough little girl talks to the spiders taking up residence in her working-class apartment, and sells her stolen bikes to make a living.
Then her father Jason, played by Harris Dickinson, who was estranged from her late mother, shows up. Arriving from Spain, he climbs over Georgie’s apartment fence and knocks on the door, announcing he’s her dad. Georgie isn’t interested in having a mother substitute, let alone a father, so she’s resistant to his parental advances. Plus, Jason has bleached blond hair and a backpack, and could be her older brother.
Not acting like a grownup, Jason helps her with bike stealing and clumsy efforts in the kitchen. And to be sure, Georgie asks him, “How come you didn’t want to know me 12 years ago?” To boot, she even keeps a checklist on the fridge to mark her stages of recovery from grief. Her father doesn’t exactly act too parent-like either, having partied away his 20s in Ibiza, Spain.
As Georgie and Jason get to know each other, the emotional walls start to come down. They hang out both inside and out, starting to like each other and understand the nature of their relationship.
Over time, both father and daughter begin to grow up. Georgie lets go of the grief she feels at losing her mother, and Jason learns how to behave like the father Georgie needs.
The success of “Scrapper” comes a lot from the terrific performances by Lola Campbell and Harris Dickinson, particularly since it’s Campbell’s first time acting. This film offers plenty of pleasure and insights to viewers who missed it at the International Film Festival.
Information and tickets to “Scrapper” are available at mvfilmsociety.com.