Magazine article Variety

Patti Cake$

Magazine article Variety

Patti Cake$

Article excerpt

Patti Cake$

FILM REVIEW / SUNDANCE

Director: Geremy Jasper

Starring: Danielle Macdonald, Bridget Everett, Cathy Moriarty, Siddharth Dhananjay

You've never met a rapper like Patricia Dombrowski. Her best friend calls her Killa-P, while the haters call her Dumbo, but to us, she will always be "Patti Cake$," an overweight white hip-hop artist who announces her force-ofnature personality from her very first song, "mylifesfuckinawesome." Every few years, an indie character comes along who so perfectly captures what it's like to be mocked and marginalized, even as she refuses to let the bullies and abusers have the last word. That's the kind of character Patti Cake$ (Danielle Macdonald) is, and that's why she stands to become one of the year's most endearing discoveries, via a film that launches an equally compelling new directing talent, Geremy Jasper.

Patti's a dreamer who fancies herself a gangsta. The hovel where she lives with her drunken- wreck mom, Barb (Bridget Everett) and wheelchair-bound Nana (Cathy Moriarty) is more flophouse than home, and it's easy to imagine why she's eager to get out. But Patti's boss refuses to give her extra hours at the bar where she works, and, besides, her mom drinks away most of what she earns. Barb was once a promising musician in her own right, though she gave that all up when she became pregnant with Patti. One imagines she'd be supportive of her daughter's music career, but the truth is, she doesn't consider rap to be music.

But Patti isn't looking to prove herself to anybody. At the encouragement of her only friend Hareesh (Siddharth Dhananjay), she battles rivals in gas-station parking lots and schemes about how she and Hareesh might finally earn some stage time of their own. He's a devoted friend, but not a romantic interest, which leaves room for Patti to imagine herself with the drug dealer (Patrick Brana) who works at the local pizza parlor, and/or a punk rocker (Mamoudou Athie) who calls himself the Antichrist. Stalking the latter to his shack behind a graveyard, Patti somehow convinces the asocial African-American musician to collaborate, resulting in one of those witnessing-something-special scenes in which Patti, Hareesh, and this black Marilyn Manson lookalike spontaneously create the signature song of their new group, PBNJ. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.