Scrapper review: Touching family drama explores grief in unique ways

The film is out in cinemas on Friday, 25 August

Scrapper (Picturehouse Entertainment)
Harris Dickinson and Lola Campbell in Scrapper (Picturehouse Entertainment)
  • 🎞️ When is Scrapper out in cinemas: 25 August, 2023

  • ⭐️ Our rating: 4/5

  • 🎭 Who's in it? Lola Campbell, Harris Dickinson, Alin Uzun

  • 👍 What we liked: Campbell and Dickinson work incredibly well together as George and her estranged father Jason, and director Charlotte Regan uses some unique visuals to bring the story to life.

  • 👎 What we didn't: This is a quiet story of grief and family, and so it may not have the level of drama that some viewers are used to in big budget blockbusters.

  • 📖 What's it about? Ever since her mum's death Georgie has been getting by on her own, living alone in her flat and keeping social services from finding out, but things are upended when her estranged father Jason comes into her life.

Georgie (Lola Campbell) can take care of herself just fine, that's how Charlotte Regan's Scrapper brings viewers into its 12-year-old protagonist's world: She spends her days keeping her home clean, messing around with her friend Ali (Alin Uzun) and steals bikes to feed herself and pay rent.

Read more: Everything to know about BBC drama The Following Events are Based on a Pack of Lies

While the pre-teen seems to have everything figured, out we soon learn why she is on her own: Georgie's mum has died, and she is determined not to be taken away from their home. She uses her wits to trick social services into thinking she's living with her uncle, 'Winston Churchill'.

Scrapper (Picturehouse Entertainment)
Lola Campbell in Scrapper (Picturehouse Entertainment)

Her plans are turned upside down though by the unexpected arrival of her estranged father Jason (Harris Dickinson) — a man she's never met but who is keen to make amends after spending years away.

Read more: BBC drama Wolf binge-watched by viewers, who are already asking for series 2

Regan has put together a moving portrait of family and loss in Scrapper, which follows Georgie and Jason as they both struggle with their grief, while trying to pick up the pieces so they can build a new relationship.

Jason finds it hard to be a parent after more than a decade partying in Spain while Georgie feels hurt by his abandonment of her and her mother, so she acts out and the two clash more often than not.

Scrapper (Picturehouse Entertainment)
Harris Dickinson in Scrapper (Picturehouse Entertainment)

It's not exactly a happy reunion but the father and daughter grow their bond slowly, and the natural way in which Regan approaches their story makes the film a compelling watch.

The director also uses unique visuals to put viewers in Georgie's shoes, telling the story in a light-hearted way without shying away from the more serious subject of grief.

This feeling is only added to by Campbell and Dickinson's moving performances. Both balance the humour of the narrative with the emotion needed for the more poignant moments that Georgie and Jason experience onscreen.

Scrapper (Picturehouse Entertainment)
Harris Dickinson and Lola Campbell in Scrapper (Picturehouse Entertainment)

Campbell is a force to be reckoned with. She brings an impressive amount of energy to the role of Georgie and works well opposite Dickinson. Campbell's natural ability to improvise brings their bond to life to create an ultimately uplifting story.

What other critics thought of Scrapper:

The Guardian: Impressively tender portrait of a girl’s precarious life (3-min read)

IndieWire: Harris Dickinson Stars in Charlotte Regan’s Low-Key but High-Spirited Debut (5-min read)

Scrapper is a thought-provoking and surprisingly uplifting story of love and loss, and the strength of its central cast and unique visuals make it a captivating watch.

Scrapper is released in cinemas on Friday, 25 August.

Watch the trailer for Scrapper