Cert 15 Stars 4
Two young Brits make impressive screen debuts in this engrossing contemporary coming-of-age teen drama, a portrait of ordinary modern Britain powered by the youthful energy of its engaging central characters whose sweary aggressive attitude can switch in an instant to exuberant child-like joyfulness and optimism.
Frankie Box is a real life British gymnastics medalist turned actress who seems as comfortable treading the boards as she is balancing on the beam, and her perfect casting sees her showcase her gym skills while delivering a wonderfully unaffected performance.
As Leigh she’s an aspiring gymnast living with her dad on a housing estate who’s drawn into crime by the unexpected arrival of her older step-brother Joe, played with a pleasing swagger by Alfie Deegan. They’re a likeable, believable pair full of unrealised potential and horribly out of their depth among Joe’s criminal companions.
It’s a hugely accomplished and confident directorial debut by writer Eva Riley which bears comparison to Andrea Arnold’s 2009 gritty Essex drama Fish Tank, and though Perfect 10 doesn’t quite score full marks, it’s not far off.