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Patti Cake$


Stars: Danielle Macdonald, Bridget Everett, Siddharth Dhananjay, Cathy Moriarty, Mamoudou Athie

Director: Geremy Jaffer

New Jersey white chick Patti Dombrowski (Australian actress Macdonald), whose slatternly mother (Everett) was once a pop star and now sings alcoholically in bars, dreams of becoming a rap performer, which would be difficult enough if she weren't rather plain and dramatically overweight.

She also performs duties in helping to look after her wheelchair-bound grandma (Moriarty, formerly a slinky blonde of the 1980s in such films as Raging Bull).

If you can get past the first 30 minutes, which is packed with unpleasant characters, the film does begin to get to you, right along to the clich�d finale, when Mom, who has pooh-poohed her daughter's ambitions all along, turns up at the last minute to watch her 'by chance' as she performs with her black lover and Indian co-rapper (no PC opportunity is missed here).

The acting is well in character, although Macdonald has her thunder stolen by Everett, a sort of US version of Sarah Lancashire, as her embittered and seemingly uncaring mother. It's a bravura performance.

It should perhaps be mentioned that flashing images and the throbbing beat might make this one to be avoided if you're prone to headaches.

David Quinlan

USA 2017. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox (Fox Searchlight). Colour by Abelcine.
108 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 27 Aug 2017