The Movie Waffler New to VOD - SCRAPPER | The Movie Waffler


A plucky 12-year-old living alone in the wake of her mother's death is visited by the father she never knew.

Review by Eric Hillis

Directed by: Charlotte Regan

Starring: Lola Campbell, Harris Dickinson, Alin Uzun

Scrapper poster

Social realism meets magic realism with mixed but undeniably charming results in Scrapper, the East London set feature debut of writer/director Charlotte Regan. The title could refer to either a fighter or a scrap metal merchant, and in this case both definitions apply to its plucky yet vulnerable 12-year-old heroine.

Scrapper review

Following the death of her single mother, Georgie (Lola Campbell) now lives alone in her council estate home. She supports herself by stealing bikes with her best mate Ali (Alin Uzun) and selling them on to a local no-questions-asked dealer. Georgie is a tough little tyke, but the care she takes not to vacuum up the spiders that have taken over her home suggests a tender side too.

Georgie maintains her tough exterior when her estranged dad Jason (Harris Dickinson) arrives. Having heard of her mum's passing, he's decided he should finally play a role in Georgie's life, having fled to Ibiza when he got her mum pregnant. Jason is clearly out of depth and not the sort of father any social worker might approve of, but it's clear that Georgie is cut from his cloth.

Scrapper review

The ensuing drama sees Jason attempt to win over Georgie, largely by teaching her more effective methods of petty crime. It's something of a reverse Bicycle Thieves, with the film asking us to bond with the thieves rather than the victims. Even if you've been a recent victim of bike theft you'll find it difficult to resist Georgie and Jason's charms. For much of the movie we're simply hanging out with the pair, and it's a delight. Dickinson and Campbell share a chemistry similar to that of Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio in Aftersun, though this film's tone is far lighter.

Much of that lightness comes from the natural goofiness of Dickinson, an actor gifted with the sort of face that instantly makes you laugh before he even opens his mouth, and the precocious charm of Campbell. The movie's best moments have an improvisational feel, like a riff on Annie Hall that sees Georgie and Jason mimic a conversation between a couple waiting on a train platform, and it often seems like Campbell is setting the pace with her adult co-star relishing the task of keeping up. This sense of two actors finding each other's rhythm only adds to the dynamic of a father and daughter gradually warming to one another.

Scrapper review

The film's less successful moments see Regan employ magic realist touches like spiders talking in comic book captions and a scrap metal tower Georgie has constructed in her mum's old bedroom reaching up into the heavens. There are also asides in which characters on the periphery of Georgie's life give their tuppence worth regarding their relationship with the kid. It all feels a little too quirky, a little too BBC "yoof" drama. But such distractions are thankfully brief and the core of the movie is a simple and endearing tale of two people finding family just when they need it most.

 is on UK/ROI VOD now.

2023 movie reviews