Georgie (Lola Campbell) is just 12-years-old, but she’s been living alone since her mom died not too long ago, faking an uncle named Winston Churchill when need be to fool the social workers and her teachers. She and her friend Ali (Alin Uzun) steal bikes so she can pay the rent and keep some food in the place. But then one day the dad she doesn’t know shows up. Jason (Harris Dickinson, Triangle of Sadness, Where the Crawdads Sing) has no clue how to be a dad and Georgie isn’t really all that interested in him moving into her flat and her life. But it’s a given that they will become a family. And that journey is one of humor and tenderness and touching insight into emotionally fragile people.
Georgie’s life in her working class neighborhood in East London is pretty simple and it’s working for her, even if she is still grieving her mother’s death. But hanging out with her pal Ali makes it work for her. She’s pretty resourceful and has everyone fooled that her life is normal enough. And when Jason arrives at her door out of the blue, she tells him to buzz off. So he climbs in through the back window and tells her that he’s there to be her Dad and she doesn’t have a say in it. Since he left Georgie and her mom behind, he’s been living the party life in Ibiza, working as a DJ, and has almost no knowledge of his daughter’s life. Georgie tries all her tricks to be rid of him, but he is relentless. He tries a slew of techniques on fathering, from authoritarian to bestie to partner in crime, and slowly but surely they do come to an arrangement.
This quirky little dramedy from first time director Charlotte Regan won the Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema at the Sundance. And it has crowd pleaser written all over it. The film blends their father-daughter story with reality television style talking head commentary, and its smart script is equal parts pithy dialogue and comedic twists. Campbell is wonderful in her first role as the grief stricken kid with a hard shell, and Dickinson’s befuddled struggle to figure out how to be the grown up she needs is pitch perfect. The two of them also have great chemistry. I highly recommend this one!
In theaters August 25th.