27 August 2011

Runaway Riffs

“The Runaways”
(based on the book “Neon Angel” by Cherie Currie)

I didn’t want to see this movie when it first came out because I didn’t think anyone could properly capture the essence of The Runaways and their mid 1970s environment.

It was a very important time in rock history and I grew up during that era.  So, if I’m going to watch a movie about an awesome groundbreaking all-girl rock band everything about it better be right – and good.  

Writer/director Floria Sigismondi and her team hit both nails on the head.  The movie was more character driven than I thought it would be which is great.  The last thing it needs is for an audience to think of the musicians as vixen-y caricatures.

Sigismondi walked us through the teenage rocker girl hearts of Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) and Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning), and made us fall in love with them right away.

Stewart gives an amazing performance proving she and Joan Jett were twin sisters in another life.  Fanning is surprising in the role of cherry bomb blonde Cherie Currie and with this performance seamlessly crosses over from child star to mature actress.

Thank goodness God gave The Runaways the balls to be different.

Best scene:   Sandy West (Stella Maeve) in the shower taking “shebop” directions from Joan Jett.   

- Renée Westbrook

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