Rescuing an abbreviated childhood

Twelve-year-old Georgie (Lola Campbell – a real discovery) is getting along just fine, thank you, living along in her London flat where everything’s just the way she likes it. She’s a smart, fast-talking little hustler who makes deft use of today’s telecom tech to con school authorities and others into believing in a non-existent uncle that takes care of her, and pays here own way by, well, stealing bicycles.

Everything’s swell until the father she never met suddenly shows up (Cary Crankson), a wanderer nearly as much a child as herself. After a brief period of conflict, they hang out.

The father-daughter conceit is far from new, but this wryly observant, unpredictable film from first-timer Charlotte Regan is assembled with great care and empathy. It’s tender but not schmaltzy, full of ideas and energy, brilliantly cast and wholly believable. (84 min)