Patti Cake$ – ***1/2 out of ****
Director –writer-composer Geremy Jasper got help for his debut feature film, Patti Cake$, from the Sundance Institute’s director and screenwriter labs. A life long music freak he wrote the catchy tunes that populate the soundtrack of this comedy-drama.
Jasper, a native of New Jersey, brings a touch of “The Boss’Milieu” to this tale of a fat, down and out working class heroine who wants to become a rapper.
Starring an unknown Australian actress, Danielle Macdonald as Patricia Dombrowski, this film has all the right moves to make it a “dog days” of summer hit.
At Sundance 2017, and Cannes 2017, the crowds fell in love with this little film as did Fox Searchlight who scooped it up at Redford’s shindig for $10.5 million. (ONE OF THE TOP TEN HIGHEST $UNDANCE FILMS EVER ACQUIRED AT THE FESTIVAL)
Patti Cake$ is a portrait of a self- confident young woman who endures painful events related to her weight. One of the more powerful sequences takes place outside a run-down gas station, where Patti gets into a rap fight with some boys who label her “Dumbo”.
What grabs you is the acting virtuosity of Ms, MacDonald and the remarkably poignant rap songs written by Jasper who was a former rocker and music video helmer .Teaming up with her best friend Jheri( Siddharth Dhananjay)and an idiosyncratic punk anarchist (Mamouddou Athie)Patti cuts some killer tracks as demos.
“This is only the beginning for her”said Chris Columbus, a “Patti Cake$ producer. Columbus, a veteran director of the first two “Harry Potter” movies was brought on board to solve any problems that the fledgling director might encounter.
The lack of opportunities in Hollywood for “bigger girls” is out of step with the broader culture, particularly in the United States, where 71 per cent of Americans over 20 are either obese or overweight. There is a growing body positive movement on-line with women pushing back against fat shaming. Some progress is being made as Amy Schumer, Rebel Wilson, and Melissa McCarthy have broken “the fat lady” ceiling.