Patti Cake$

Directed by: Geremy Jasper
Starring:  Danielle Macdonald, Bridget Everett, Siddharth Dhananjay

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%                                         Empire: 4 Stars

What has the director done before?
Yes, the director’s name is spelt Geremy not Jeremy, a quirky name for a quirky guy the sort of name you would imagine for a Brooklyn hipster, which Geremy Jasper actually is. Geremy began in the creative field with music first, being the front man of the indie band The Fevers, he then transitioned from music into film making, it is no surprise that his first film Patti Cake$ is about music. Geremy Jasper describes Patti Cake$ as a semi-autobiographical film as he also grew up in Jersey, with hopes of leaving to kick start his music career in New York City. The characters of the movie are based on the year, and a half Jasper spent living in his parents’ Hillsdale basement after graduating.

Patti Cake$ is Geremy Jaspers first feature length film. He previously developed a few short films and music videos for the likes of Florence and the Machine and Selena Gomez. Geremy Jasper was good friends with Benh Zeitlin, who went on to direct the Oscar nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild. Starring in Ben Zeitlin’s film Glory at Sea” inspired him to become a director.

What was Patti Cake$ about?
Simply put Patti Cake$ is about Patricia Dombroski (aka Patti Cake$, aka Killer P, played by Danielle Macdonald), a 23-year-old, heavy-set Jersey girl with dreams of rap stardom. Patti, works dead end jobs in a bar, trying to help her ailing grandmother and her alcoholic mother. Patti Cake$ is relatable on many levels to people in their twenties, trying to figure out their hopes and dreams in the midst of the harsh realities of life. The central theme of the movie is about following your dreams and never giving up, which does sound like a cliché but seems to work well in Patti Cake$.

Was Patti Cake$ funny?
Patti Cake$ is enjoyable and pretty hilarious, not only because the rhymes that Patti Cake$ spits are good but they also pack a punch of humour and shade. The oddities of the character and the juxta positioning of the supporting characters, e.g. the heavyset white female rapper, her grandma, the black goth and the skinny pharmacists create on screen caricature, mixed in with an excellent script that makes Patti Cake$ a funny and feel good film.

Was Patti Cake$ a feminist movie?
I wouldn’t necessarily call it a feminist film, but it is one of the most well-recognised films about a female rapper, which makes it significant in that it is a first however this brings up murky questions about appropriation, which are too broad to tackle here. On face value, it has the feminist undertones of an episode of Girls, which makes you collectively root for women in a general manner.

Who gave the best performance?
Danielle Macdonald gave an excellent performance as Patti Cake$ a role that I am sure was challenging because not only did she have to act but also rap. Danielle Macdonald was brilliant in showing the different emotions Patti was going through including embarrassment, shame and despair, which makes you empathise with her and takes you along on her journey to stardom.

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