Enjoy a fresh coming-of-age story from debut director Eva Riley featuring a brilliantly sharp performance from newcomer Frankie Box.
Eva Riley’s luminous debut is a coming-of-age tale about 15-yeer-old Leigh, a working class girl who has just made it onto the local gymnastic team. She is struggling after her mother’s death, her father is fairly absent and dealing with his own grief and demons. When her half-brother Joe turns up, she is initially wary of this newcomer in her life, about whom she had previously been unaware. However, they slowly form a bond, which in Leigh’s case is mixed with admiration for this young man, a few years older than her and dabbling with crime as he steals petrol and motorbikes.
Filmed in suburban Brighton, the light is stunning and the summer vibe is strong, but this isn’t the beach, the pier or other iconic and bucolic sights. The youngsters hang out in empty fields or roam housing estates as they party, ride motorbikes and Leigh shows off her dancing / gymnastic skills.
Back in training, Leigh isn’t performing as well as she should – she misses her mum, is bullied by the middle-class girls in her club and is distracted from training by her new life. To be honest, she is actually falling for Joe – and this is partly sweet, but partly toxic and risky, for both of them. They find a kinship but there is danger if they get too close.
Perfect 10 is available in the UK at cinemas and online.
“Packed with raw, prickly emotion and featuring a terrific debut performance by Frankie Box, writer-director Eva Riley’s first feature Perfect 10 is an acutely observed and beautifully shot coming-of-age story. It is also a tender, fastidiously constructed portrait of working-class girlhood that shimmers with angst, vulnerability, and compassion.”
Thomas Alexander, CineVue