25.01.2023 - 20:35 / deadline.com
The cost of living crisis has hit the U.K. hard, but you wouldn’t guess from the trio of films screening in the official selection at Sundance. Rye Lane, in Premieres, is a goofy love story set in south London; Girl, in World Dramatic, is a tender parent-child drama set in Glasgow; and Scrapper, also in World Dramatic, is a curious mixture of the two. It deals with issues such as social care, single parenting, truancy, and grief, but director Charlotte Regan handles these matters with a candy-colored levity that can quite often be charming, in a whimsical, Wes Anderson way, but sometimes just plain baffling (there’s a reason why you don’t see talking spiders in a Ken Loach movie).
It begins with a title card that reads “It takes a village to raise a child”, but the statement is immediately struck through and replaced with the words “I can raise myself, thank you.” This is our handwritten introduction to 12-year-old Georgie (Lola Campbell), who lives by herself on a Home Counties estate following the premature death of her mother. As far as the social services are concerned, Georgie lives with her uncle, whose name is “Winston Churchill”. Whenever anyone calls, Georgia has a deal going with the guy in the corner shop, who records snippets of conversation on her phone saying how well she’s doing at school. Oh, and to pay the rent, Georgie is a bike thief, working with her best friend Ali.
Georgie is perfectly happy being alone, and is actually pretty good at taking care of herself, lounging around the flat watching the shopping channel with Ali and seldom taking off her baggy West Ham football shirt. This idyll is about to come to an end, however: out of the blue, a young stranger with a blond Eminem crop hops over the