Harris Dickinson and Lola Campbell appear in Scrapper by Charlotte Regan (Picture: Chris Harris)

Scrapper, directed by Charlotte Regan, is a heartwarming and sweet film about grief and family set in east London.

It focuses on Georgie, played by Lola Campbell, whose mother dies and is left to fend for herself.

She tricks social workers into believing she is being looked after and makes money from stealing and selling bikes. She’s smart and savvy, but you can’t help but worry about her.

This continues until her father, Jason, played Harris Dickinson, who she has never met, comes to look after her.

The trials and tribulations of their relationship form most of the story in this film.

Georgie is very smart and witty and drives a lot of the comedy in the piece, along with her best friend Ali, played by Alin Uzun, who is always beside her.

The humour is subtle, sweet and feels very familiar—like the kinds of jokes you share between your family and friends.

One of the stand-out aspects of the film was the cinematography.

The camera was able to present the working class estate where Georgie lives with real beauty. It wasn’t surprising to learn that the director Regan has directed music videos, as, at times, there was an almost fantasy aspect to the shots.

You felt like you were watching the film from Georgie’s perspective, who, despite her mother’s death, can still look at the world with a sense of wonder and imagination.

Interviews with those who know Georgie are ­interspersed throughout. One of the most memorable is one with her teacher.

He shows the audience some of Georgie’s drawings. One of them is of her social workers, which she has ­coloured only in grey.

Georgie evidently needs help in the earlier parts of the film, even if she won’t admit it herself.

Yet, she falls through the cracks because of how the system is set up.

While her managing to trick social workers is played for laughs, it points to an unfortunate truth—that this system cannot care for all those who need it.

People might try their best, but it isn’t often enough. The person who steps in to help Georgie is initially entirely unprepared to care for a child who is grieving after losing her mother. 

Jason has been partying in Ibiza for the past two years and is suddenly thrust into parenthood.

He makes mistakes but is determined to be there, and as the film progresses, you see just how alike Georgie and Jason are.

The chemistry between Dickinson and Campbell, playing father and daughter, is really excellent.

It’s natural, funny and warm, which is helped by improvised scenes.

You’d think that you might get bored watching a film that is mainly about a father and daughter getting to know each other. But I found I could watch it all day.

Working class lives are centre stage in Scrapper, and they are presented with ­genuine love, humour, ­tenderness and joy.

Towards the end of the film, Georgia finally admits that she does need someone.

That, for me, seemed to be the film’s message—that our relationships with others are a shining light in an inhospitable and scary world.

Scrapper is out now in selected cinemas


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