Scrapper (Review) – a delightful feature debut full of heart, humour and love


Scrapper arrives in cinemas nationwide on August 25.

Charm, hope, colour and emotion ripple through Charlotte Regan’s feature debut Scrapper, the story of twelve-year-old Georgie (Lola Campbell) and her young dad, Jason (Harris Dickenson), who suddenly arrives on the scene following Georgie’s mum’s death. Georgie is living independently in the small terrace house she once shared with her mum. But far from needing help, Georgie has convinced herself she is just fine, developing an elaborate ruse to fool social services into thinking she’s living with her imaginary uncle, Winston Churchill! At her side is her best mate Ali (Alin Uzun), who assists her in stealing bikes from around the estate for money while offering Georgie the emotional support she needs as she navigates her grief.

When a guy claiming to be her dad suddenly turns up, Georgie is less than convinced he is who he says he is, but she gives him the benefit of the doubt as long as he leaves her alone. Jason has been living in Ibiza, working as a club rep, and he hasn’t seen his daughter since she was a baby and he was a teenager unable to accept his duties as a new father. Jason knows he needs to step up and support her, but how do you support a firey young girl who believes she is doing just fine?

You may expect Scrapper to fit the mould of a classic British kitchen-sink drama. But Regan’s film subverts expectations with a brightly-coloured and heartfelt comedy/drama alive with hope and humour. While Scrapper may represent deep themes of reconnection, grief and vulnerability, the film’s tone remains upbeat, positive and light, with moments of brilliantly timed comedy as we see the world through Georgie’s eyes. In Georgie’s world, teachers know little of life, social workers are stupid, and her estate is full of colour and entrepreneurial possibilities. The result is a highly creative film that joyously turns the traditional gloom of the kitchen sink drama on its head as a young father and his daughter slowly find a new connection in the face of grief and loss.

Many will likely compare Regan’s gentle yet striking story of reconnection, father-daughter relationships and loss with Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun (2022). Yet, Scrapper couldn’t be more different in its style and delivery. Unlike Aftersun, Scrapper isn’t built on the interface between memory and truth; instead, it opts for a lighter touch while equally maintaining its emotional core throughout. In many ways, Regan’s movie has more in common with Paper Moon (1973) in its defiant subversion of expected cliches and its joyous exploration of the power dynamics between a father and his fiery, quirky, street-smart, yet vulnerable daughter.

The on-screen chemistry between Dickinson and Campbell sits at the heart of Scrapper’s success. Dickinson beautifully portrays a young man attempting to navigate a responsibility he walked away from twelve years before; he is uncertain and moody yet equally vulnerable as he tries to build a new relationship with Georgie. Meanwhile, Campbell is spikey, smart, yet insecure and unsure as she attempts to navigate grief and the arrival of a dad she’s never met. As the ice between the pair begins to melt, Regan’s film offers tender moments of reconciliation challenged only by the uncertainty of any permanence. While some may question whether Scrapper offers us anything new in the arena of father-and-daughter narratives, it does break new ground in its cinematic styling and defiant rejection of working-class gloom, creating a delightful debut feature full of heart, humour and love while never ejecting its emotional core.


  • Scrapper | United Kingdom | 2023


Scrapper is a highly creative film that joyously turns the traditional gloom of the kitchen sink drama on its head as a young father and his daughter slowly find a new connection in the face of grief and loss. 

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