The Runaways

9 Apr

Title: The Runaways
Year: 2010
Director: Floria Sigismondi
Writer: Floria Sigismondi, based on the memoir by Cherie Currie
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Michael Shannon, Stella Maeve, Scout Taylor-Compton, Alia Shawkat
MPAA Rating: R, language, drug use and sexual content – all involving teens
Runtime: 109 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating: 7.1
Rotten Tomatoes: 65%

I, quite simply, loved The Runaways. Granted, it’s not an in-depth biopic, even the ending remarks are wrong because Currie enjoyed a moderately successful solo career when she left, and The Runaways actually continued doing alright for about three years after she left. But scratch that, accurately historical or not The Runaways is superb film about music which has in Stewart and Fanning two spectacular lead performances and a really solid supporting act by Michael Shannon.

I’m a huge huge huge fan of Kristen Stewart, I loved her way before Twilight, and if anything Twilight didn’t do anything at all to make me love her more, but a stellar turn in Adventureland, and then her performance in this one only solidify my love for her. Fanning I liked when she was just getting started during her I Am Sam and Trapped days, then I started loving her less during her Hide and Seek and War of the Worlds days, and now I’m back to loving her. Same situation with the both, granted, I like Stewart far more, but still, they are two amazing young actresses.

And as such amazing young talents they embody greatly the people they are in this film, they play Joan Jett and Cherie Currie of the all-girl rock band The Runaways , with their manager which sent them to conquer the charts made their members icons and then we watch it all end because of drugs.

Kim Fowley, the manager, is played wonderfully by Michael Shannon and he is the one who pretty much makes The Runaways out of thin air, getting Joan Jett who was quite good, pairing her with Currie, who was attractive and seriously young, writing them a song, them playing it and it being a hit. Fowley was lucky, he just wanted young girls that would come cheap and be attractive to the masses, and he gets serious talent whom he trains them to the bone into an outstanding rock outfit. Shannon is just killer as Fowley, and we should all be used to how great an actor he is, just look at his roles in Revolutionary Road (for which he got an Oscar nod), Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead or Bug should you need further reference.

As I said at the start of this review, this is not the most historically accurate film you’ll see, and if I’m being honest the screenplay isn’t all that great either, but the performances are brilliant, the music is spectacular, and the look of the film, whether it’s how its shot or the styling of their costumes is more than enough, I just fuckin’ adore this film, even though it doesn’t answer some questions it should answer, especially about the background of these characters, it still gives a faithful look at the lives of these powerful girls.

So don’t approach The Runaways as a music biopic, even though in theory it is just that, but look at it rather as a film that takes a look at that good ol’ “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll” motto, basing itself on a true band, and look at it as a film that boasts three pitch-perfect performances by three talented actors who bring into their roles so much more than what it was provided to them by the script.

Grade: A-


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