Patti Cake$ (Film Review) – A Modern 8 Mile

Patti Cake$ is a drama directed by Geremy Jaspar and stars Bridget Everett, Siddharth Dhananjay, Mamoudou Athie, Cathy Moriaty and Danielle Macdonald. The story focuses on Patricia “Dumbo” Dombrowski (Danielle Macdonald), a plus-sized white girl from New Jersey who is on a journey to make it as a rapper and escape from poverty.

My Knowledge and Expectation of Patti Cake$

I first heard of this film after its premiere at Sundance Film Festival in January 2017 and it got a great reception. Comparisons were made with the film 8 Mile due to its similar subject nature and praise was heaped on Danielle Macdonald for her lead performance. Indeed, it was considered to be a breakout role for her. I always want to see a film that will be inspirational and I had high hopes that Patti Cake$ would achieve this.

Danielle Macdonald as Patti, Siddharth Dhananjay as Jheri and Mamoudou Athie as Basterd in Patti Cake$

My Thoughts on Patti Cake$

Certainly, I would view Patti Cake$ as a modern version of 8 Mile. While I believe that 8 Mile is a better film, I really enjoyed Patti Cake$ and found the story to be very engaging. The main reason why Patti Cake$ delivers is because of the central performance by Danielle Macdonald. Her performance was fantastic, especially when you consider that her acting career is still in its infancy. She is definitely someone to keep an eye on in the future and I hope that Patti Cake$ will open the door for more opportunities for this actress.

The supporting characters around Danielle Macdonald were also very compelling. They served the story and the journey of Macdonald’s character extremely well. Additionally, the pacing of Patti Cake$ was just right. I was never bored during the film and the music in Patti Cake$ also helped in that regard. There were a lot of songs that were very catchy and the fact that they were original was also a bonus. It reminded me of films such as Begin Again and Sing Street which also had great, original music and it is never a bad thing to be compared to those films.

Danielle Macdonald as Patti and Siddharth Dhananjay as Jheri in Patti Cake$

Obviously, a film such as Patti Cake$ is not going to get a massive amount of publicity due to how small and independent it is compared to blockbuster films. Still, if you are looking for a compelling, inspiring story then I would absolutely recommend that you see Patti Cake$ when you can. I feel as though anyone can enjoy this film, especially if you are a fan of 8 Mile. Just do not expect Patti Cake$ to be better than 8 Mile.

Paterson (Film Review) – A Celebration of Normality

Paterson is a drama directed by Jim Jarmusch and stars Golshifteh Farahani and Adam Driver. The story focuses on a week in the life of Adam Driver who plays an inspiring poet and bus driver called Paterson who lives in the city of Paterson, New Jersey in the film called Paterson (I know, extraordinary).

My Knowledge and Expectations of Paterson

I had heard a lot of good things about this film from critics who had seen earlier releases of Paterson at various film festivals throughout the year. My interest in Paterson was also increased due to the unique nature of the film’s plot. It seemed to be quite different compared to other films in cinemas at this moment and that is one of the great things about independent films like Paterson. It offers us the chance to experience intimate stories and this was my expectation going into Paterson.

Golshifteh Farahani and Adam Driver in Paterson

My Thoughts on Paterson

I have to say, I was right to think this way. I enjoyed Paterson. I wouldn’t give it the lavish praise that film critics have but I did enjoy it. This was largely down to how the film celebrated people and the normality of regular life. Truthfully, I felt like I was intruding on people’s lives, eavesdropping on their conversations (just like Paterson did while driving his bus) and I give a lot of credit to Jim Jarmusch for structuring the film in a way where we feel a real connection to the characters because they are just like us.

Adam Driver is really good in the film. He gives us a very quaint, reserved performance in a film which is quaint and reserved and it is likeable because of this. Certainly, there is no big set piece or dramatic twist in Paterson and that does mean that certain people who watch this film may find themselves to be bored. Certainly, the pacing is slow which will annoy some people. It didn’t affect my viewing of Paterson too much but it does affect the film’s re-watchability.

Masatoshi Nagase and Adam Driver and Paterson

Nevertheless, I still enjoyed Paterson for what it was. It is a unique film which celebrates ordinary life and ordinary individuals. It is well directed and Adam Driver gives a good performance. I admit that the film will frustrate some people due to its slow pacing which does limits the re-watchability of Paterson but if you go in knowing what to expect then you can enjoy it.