Carbon Arc Cinema review: Scrapper

I’m the new Artistic Director at Carbon Arc Cinema, part of a group of programmers who choose the films we screen. 

Written and Directed by Charlotte Regan | 84 min | Carbon Arc Cinema 

Georgie (Lola Campbell) is a willful, self-determined 12-year-old. She lives in a council estate in suburban London, alone since her mother died. She’s determined to manage by herself and is quite the hustler — she and her pal Ali (Alin Uzun) swipe bikes and sell them, making the money she needs to pay her bills. But over the back fence jumps Jason (Harris Dickinson from Triangle Of Sadness), her father, a 30-ish manboy who’s been hanging out in Spain. He’s back, much to Georgie’s chagrin.

What follows is a cold war as both parties size each other up and figure out if they’ve got anything in common besides the person they both loved who’s absent, which prompts a slow thawing of hostilities and a warm, unorthodox connection between father and daughter.

While identifiably a British working class kitchen sink drama, the film’s got a lot more pop and cheer than you’d expect, with a few playful, stylistic choices you’d see in a full-on comedy or a Danny Boyle picture. Not to say Scrapper isn’t at its heart a tender affair — the journey of a little girl to recover from her mother’s death (she’s nothing if not pragmatic, with a stages of grief checklist) and what happens when her ill-suited-for-fatherhood Dad comes into her life.

Dickinson and Campbell are a dynamite pair, with Campbell especially impressive given her lack of experience in front of the camera — I gather this is her first acting gig. Some people are just born to it, I guess.

About the author


Carsten Knox is a massive, cheese-eating nerd. In the day he works as a journalist in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At night he stares out at the rain-slick streets, watches movies, and writes about what he's seeing.