Fifteen-year-old Leigh (Frankie Box) has channelled her grief over her mother’s death into long, hard hours of gymnastics training. But her honed skills are undermined by a collapse in confidence, punctured by the mean girls on the squad who mock her as a “charity project”.
The unexpected arrival of Joe, her tearaway half-brother, stirs in Leigh a reckless need for closeness, for approval. A terrific scene hugs Lycra-tight to Leigh as she backflips and spins for Joe’s cheering gang of friends in a parking lot. Writer/director Eva Riley’s debut feature has something of the jagged lyricism of early Lynne Ramsay – Riley floods with a magic-hour, honeyed glow a scene that takes place in what looks like the scrag end of an industrial estate. But the film’s main asset is impressive newcomer Box: veering between bratty backchat and bruised reticence, she’s tossed on unpredictable tides of teenage emotions.
In selected cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema and BFI Player