How to Build a Girl
Beanie Feldstein, Alfie Allen, Paddy Considine, Emma Thompson, Chris O’Dowd, Jameela Jamil
Fresh from Booksmart, Beanie Feldstein delivers another comedically, disarmingly earnest performance in How to Build a Girl, Coky Giedroyc’s brisk, charming and very funny film version of journalist and author Caitlin Moran’s semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel; adapted for the screen by Moran herself.
It’s 1990. Johanna Morrigan (Feldstein) is sixteen, smart and very opinionated. Hormones raging, she is desperate to get out of her home town and make a name for herself; which she does, reinventing herself as Dolly Wilde, bad-ass music critic set to explode all over London. Gaining notoriety as an enfant terrible, she has finally figured out ‘how to build a girl’ – but is this the girl she wanted to build?
Bolstered by a terrific ensemble cast – including Emma Thompson, Chris O’Dowd and Paddy Considine (who puts in a lovely turn as Johanna’s wistful former jazz musician Dad) – and complete with an unusually convincing Wolverhampton accent, Feldstein brilliantly channels Moran’s early days as a music journalist, her battles with sexism and class prejudice, her capacity for barbed one-liners and her overpowering will to succeed in what becomes an inspiring, as well as hilarious and thoroughly likeable, story of self-determination.