'Patti Cake$' Trailer Shines Spotlight On an Unlikely Hip-Hop Star

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Patti Cake$ took this past January’s Sundance Film Festival by storm. While its basic tale of a marginalized underdog triumphing against incredible odds certainly isn’t new, it turned heads with its energy and the star turn by its lead, Danielle Macdonald. Now, ahead of its summer release, comes the film’s high-energy first trailer (watch it above).

From the clip, it’s clear we’ve been down this road before: A down-on-her-luck working stiff finds true expression (here, as a gifted rapper), learns to trust her talent despite naysayers, goes for it, and inspires those around her (and, by extension, the audience). In this case, the ace up the film’s sleeve is Macdonald as Patricia Dombrowski, a.k.a., “Patti Cake$.” As familiar as her arc may feel, the first promo for director Geremy Jasper’s tale still quickly draws us in to root for this underdog and works in some out-there fantastical flourishes, including the sight of Patti Cake$ literally walking on air in her New Jersey neighborhood.

Jasper, a music video veteran, brings a distinctive style to Patti Cake$, which — along with Macdonald’s pivotal performance — should help differentiate it from the indie pack (and its genre ancestors) when it debuts in theaters on August 18.

Watch ‘Patti Cake$’ director Geremy Jasper talk technology and shooting digitally with THR at Sundance:

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