When Sundance celebrates a film it’s not a sign of innovation or creative courage or unique vision. It just means that a low budget film is as much a slave to clichés, poorly constructed tropes, and mechanical audience pleasing manipulation as a mainstream one. The only difference is that it’s focused on underrepresented characters or subject matter. And that’s good, that’s important, of course. Yet, I most often use “Sundance Celebrated” as a derogatory term synonymous with a lack of creative courage. Films celebrated at Sundance seldom work for me.
PATTI CAKE$ is centered on aspiring rapper Patricia Dombrowski, a.k.a. Killa P, a.k.a. Patti Cake$, who is fighting an unlikely quest for glory in her downtrodden hometown in New Jersey.