Patti Cake$

Patti Cake$

(2017)

An unlikely rapper (Danielle Macdonald) finds her voice as a one-of-a-kind hip-hop legend in the making in the first feature film from acclaimed commercial and music-video director Geremy Jasper. Set in gritty strip-mall suburbia, Patti Cake$ chronicles an underdog's quest for fame and glory. Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize (Dramatic) at Sundance.

Flicks Review

Geremy Jasper’s fictional story of plus-sized would-be New Jersey rapper Patricia Dombrowski, a.k.a. Killa P, a.k.a. Patti Cake$, is a clichéd crowd-pleaser that’s so energetic, the “been-there, seen-that” cynic in me surrendered to its gritty simplicity.... More

Whilst it’ll never be accused of originality, it does boast a big heart, a superb young cast, a cracking musical soundtrack that left me wanting more, and a stand-out lead performance by Australia’s Danielle Macdonald as Patti. Maligned for her size, looked down on for her working-class roots, dismissed as an overweight loser by all but her outsider friends, Patti is a bold breath of fresh underdog air in a cinematic landscape that often seems full of perfect people, with flawless physiques and idealised lives.

I was engaged and entertained by the story of Patti and her kooky crew, as they form PB&J, their band of outsider misfits, which even finds room for Patti’s ailing grandma, making for one hilarious oddball rap group photoshoot. Far from a schmaltzy fairy tale, it’s a story encompassing family dysfunction, poverty, and negative body image — sentimental yet never soppy, inspirational rather than insipid, poignant without feeling phoney.

Think Rocky with rap, or 8 Mile with a smile and a poor, white, female rapper. Patti Cake$ delivers a big, bold, anti-body-shaming, never-judge-a-book-by-its-cover, morality tale about family, friendship, and young people born on the wrong side of the tracks daring to dream big.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

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BY fairbrother superstar

There's no nice way to say this: Patti Cake$ is not an original film. It won't win any accolades for innovation. The story structure's so formulaic you can practically see the dotted "CUT AND PASTE HERE" lines at the edge of frame. With that said, it's worth noting that the movie never pretends to be more (or less) than it is, and I defy even the most cynical viewer not to walk out of the theater with a smile on their face.

Danielle MacDonald wins our hearts, and kills mics, as Patricia... More Dombrowski: 23, under-employed, stuck living with a less-than-supportive Mom and a supportive but very sick Granny. She's Dumbo to the people she grew up with, Patti Cakes to her friends, and Killa P to anyone within earshot when she can work up the courage to spit some of her rhymes. Yep, Patti dreams, secretly, of making it as a rapper. But the decrepit New Jersey neighborhood she calls home has a way of keeping people from achieving any goals loftier than staying out of debt and having enough spare cash to get drunk or high after work. And the hip-hop scene she's so eager to crash can be particularly scornful of overweight white girls. But the dream looks like it could be withing reaching-distance when Patti and her partner in rap star-fantasy , Jheri, chance to meet Bastard the Antichrist (not his real name, it turns out), a garage music-producer they reckon might just have the skills to help them cut a promo record...

From the ingredients outlined above, you'll have a solid idea of where this is going and how it'll play out. Writer-director Geremy Jasper knows we've seen many iterations of this story before and so, wisely, he takes the formula as a given and emphasizes what's different here: namely, Patti herself. No matter how predictable the story-beats, Patti rings true at every juncture, exaggerated (perhaps) but as authentic as the grimly run-down locations against which her story unfolds. If the road between Patti and her goals is contrived, it's tempered by palpable anxiety and embarrassment born of an all-too-relatable self-doubt.

A sort of Fat Girl 8 Mile, only a lot more fun than Eminem's joint, Patti Cake$ wins you over despite yourself. It's a crowd-pleaser that deserves a crowd.Hide


The Press Reviews

  • Jasper's dynamic debut crackles with energy and grass roots authenticity. But it wouldn't have worked at all without the right leading lady, which it found in Danielle Macdonald... Full Review

  • Jasper has said Patti is part-modelled on his own life, and there's a real feeling on display here for her internal and external struggles, a gift which Mcdonald makes the most of in her own debut. Full Review

  • Don't believe the hype. Full Review

  • Music video director Geremy Jasper launches an unlikely rap star - and unforgettable indie underdog - in his high-energy feature debut. Full Review

  • Offers the perspective that humour is the best way of coping with life's struggles. Full Review

  • The story of a white suburban redhead chasing hip-hop glory may set off alarms about cultural appropriation, but the film mostly disarms them, or mixes them into the soundtrack. Full Review

  • It's a real crowd-pleaser, and I hope a lot of people will be inspired by its mixture of grittiness and uplift. Full Review

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