Patti Cake$ Danielle Macdonald

Big girl with a big mouth.

Hip-hop wannabe Patti doesn’t look like a rap star. She’s white, for a start, and a tubby ginger to boot. (Not that this held back Ed Sheerhan.) She has other obstacles to overcome, including sneering locals who call her Dumbo and a boozy slattern of a mother who constantly belittles her dreams. But the big girl with a big mouth spits bars with the best. Will her talent for rhymes be enough to propel her out of her dead-end life in small-town New Jersey?

Music video director Geremy Jasper’s underdog film Patti Cake$ hits some predictable beats along the way but is rousing stuff all the same. The characters are colourfully quirky, from Patti’s oddball sidekicks – rapping Asian pharmacist Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay) and black death-metal-playing loner Basterd (Mamoudou Athie) – to her one-time hard-rock belter mom (Bridget Everett) and wheelchair-bound nana (Cathy Moriarty).

But the movie wouldn’t work without a convincing Patti and Australian actress Danielle Macdonald absolutely nails the part with a performance that grabs the viewer by the lapel and doesn’t let go.

Certificate 15. Running time 107 mins. Director Geremy Jasper

Available on Digital from Fox Searchlight.