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How to Build a Girl

  • 2019
  • Coky Giedroyc
  • 104 mins
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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

After stealing scenes in best friend roles in Lady Bird and Booksmart, Beanie Feldstein takes the lead in this lively adaptation of Caitlin Moran's eponymous semi-autobiographical novel. From her opening close-up, as she fantasises about boys and wonders how she'll escape her drab working-class life in 1990s Wolverhampton, to her final address to camera, Feldstein is magnetic. She plays Johanna Morrigan, a lonely 16-year-old aspiring writer who, despite knowing more about Joyce than Nirvana, lands a freelance gig with a rock magazine. Writing as Dolly Wilde, she falls in love with music, but quickly learns that "to get ahead, you have to get a hate". So she fills her pen with poison, but is this who she wants to be? Feldstein keeps us onside with her innate likeability even when she is being a "bitch" and rolls gamely with the film's wild tonal shifts. The film doesn't dig very deep, but it is big-hearted fun, with a protagonist you'll love.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

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Johanna MorriganBeanie Feldstein
John KiteAlfie Allen
Pat MorriganPaddy Considine
AmandaEmma Thompson
Angie MorriganSarah Soleimani
Krissi MorriganLaurie Kynaston
Tony RichFrank Dillane

Crew

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DirectorCoky Giedroyc

Details

Formats
Colour
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