The Runaways

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Movie Reviews,   From Issue 701   By: Review Magazine

25th March, 2010     0

The Runaways opened this weekend in national release to very good reviews.  Karina Longworth wrote in the Village Voice, "The movie is at its best when working through the contradictions of teen sex-for-sale, when it's both turn-on and creep-out. And [director Floria] Sigismondi's nearly avant-garde visual choices elevate what would be junk food into something more. It's only when she abandons the expected rock biopic forward motion that the film runs into trouble."

Told with a jolting, lurid energy that busily captures the feel of an era, often vividly: the glitter platforms; the feathered hair; the low-ceilinged, shag-carpeted basements, this film chronicles the tale of L.A. showman Kim Fowley’s creation of the all-girl ‘70s Punk Band, The Runaways, which most notably yielded the talent of Joan Jett.

While the script lacks substance, the actresses deliver on style, with the tense Kristen Stewart showing some oomph as Jett. The gutsiest performance belongs to 16-year-old Dakota Fanning.

This is a rich and surprisingly old-fashioned musical biopic that has neither the bloat nor the blather of your average Hollywood treatment of stars on the rise. It's pungent and quick on its feet, capturing the clubs, the shag-heavy interiors and the Farrah-haired vibe of mid-1970s Los Angeles in both look and spirit.


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