Verdict: Scrapper tells a heartwarming story with an impressive star-making child performance from Lola Campbell

Lola Campbell plays an independent 12-year-old who has been living on her own since her mum passed away.

Every year, we are treated to at least one breakout child star performance and this year’s comes from Lola Campbell in Scrapper.

Charlotte Regan’s directorial debut follows Georgie, 12, who has been living on her own since her mother died not too long ago. She is wise beyond her years and a resourceful hustler capable of looking after herself, stealing and selling bikes to pay for rent and fooling the social services into thinking that she’s living with her uncle.

Her new independent lifestyle is turned upside down when her dad Jason (Harris Dickinson), whom she has never met before, shows up to look after her.

Jason expects Georgie to run into his arms and be thrilled to have a parent to care for her – but he doesn’t know her at all. She doesn’t need his help and doesn’t trust anyone except her best friend Ali (Alin Uzun).

Naturally, Georgie’s hardened exterior eventually softens and they form a bond, which is wonderful to watch. Jason helps her to let go and have fun and stop being such a serious adult burdened with responsibilities. He allows her to be a kid again.

The fact that Campbell manages to capture all of the different sides of Georgie at her young age is remarkable. She manages to portray both a grieving child and a young adult with a sassy, no-nonsense attitude and her performance is both funny and effecting.

She is paired well with her co-stars – her friendship with Uzun is adorable and her bond with Dickinson is heartwarming and sweet.

The film could have been quite sad because of Georgie’s unfortunate situation but Regan manages to keep it mostly light-hearted thanks to some unusual flourishes. She inserts bizarre but endearing cutaways throughout to inject more comedy as well as quirky montages of local children giving their opinions on Georgie.

Scrapper is an impressive debut from Regan with a star-making turn from Campbell.

In cinemas Friday 25th August.

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