Early Sundance reviews for THE RUNAWAYS


The reviews are starting to come in from Sundance for The Runaways with Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning — and so far, the buzz is  good. Here’s a quick peek:

* MTV movies blog review:

Indeed, “The Runaways” is owned and just about swallowed up by Fanning’s riveting portrayal of the singer (not too dissimilar from the way Currie overwhelmed the group). First glimpsed as a teen literally transforming into a woman, this is the performance that seems sure to launch Fanning into a new thrilling phase of her career. From a sulking broodish David Bowie enthusiast to a howling rock goddess Fanning sells sells sells. I’d watch that band. Hells yeah.

Stewart as Joan Jett physically embodies the role and curses and growls as the part demands. It’s Jett of course who first launches the band under the manic watchful eye of Michael Shannon’s Kim Fowley. But the film find’s its legs and central mesmerizing performance when Fanning’s Cherie auditions for the band in a crappy trailer. Shannon’s Fowley knows he’s hit paydirt with Currie’s look but he needs to coax the sex vixen out of her. Watch in awe as in the space of a few moments the band’s signature “Cherry Bomb” is created and Fanning transforms into the front woman she’s destined to be. It’s the scene of the movie.

* EW review:

The most entertaining thing about the movie is that its writer-director, music-video veteran Floria Sigismondi (making her feature debut), has a sixth sense for how the Runaways were an image first and a rock & roll band second. Early on, we see Stewart’s black-shag-haired Joan in an L.A. boutique, where she has to coerce the sales woman into selling her a man’s studded biker jacket, which she wears as if born to it. Stewart’s no-frills, casually likable performance begins with Jett’s distinctive tough-girl saunter — which is to say, the actress knows just how to walk like a skinny dude. At the same time, we meet Cherie Currie (first name pronounced Sher-ee), who chops her platinum-blonde mane into a David Bowie shag, paints on the facial lightning streak from his Aladdin Sane cover, and lip-syncs to him at a high school talent show, which results in her being pelted with wads of paper.

* Collider review:

With fantastic performances from Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning and Michael Shannon, The Runaways delivered the goods at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.  Based on the book Neon Angel: The Cherie Currie Story by Cherie Currie, The Runaways tells the coming-of-age story of the teenage rock band The Runaways and how they came together in the mid 1970’s.  Kristen Stewart stars as Joan Jett, Dakota Fanning is Cherie Currie, and Michael Shannon stars as the über-eccentric Kim Fowley – the man who put The Runaways together.

* E! News review:

Stewart does what she does best: play the anguished outsider. But Fanning really nails it as the 15-year drug-abusing sex kitten Cherie. This is a Dakota you have never seen, getting so lost in the role that there are times she is almost unrecognizable. Full of sex (including Fanning and Stewart locking lips), drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, The Runaways is not for the prudish….

* The Hollywood Reporter review:

Kristen Stewart, of “Twilight” fame and also another good Sundance film,”Welcome to the Rileys,” plays Jett circa 1975. Dakota Fanning, who is still just 15, takes the role of Cherie Currie, Joan Jett’s founding partner in The Runaways. The movie does feature what seems to be a heavily suggested love scene between the two which should be pretty controversial when “The Runaways” is released by Apparition Films.

For the comments: do you plan to see The Runaways? Why?

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