Pin It

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Casting hits false notes in The Runaways

click to enlarge PUNK'D: Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart, left) and Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning)
  • PUNK'D: Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart, left) and Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning)

Joan Jett famously proclaimed "I don't give a damn about my bad reputation!" in one of her trademark rave-ups. The original riot girl served as a producer on The Runaways, a docudrama about her first band, but the film feels surprisingly like Jett's apology to lead singer Cherie Currie. The Runaways' contrite tone may not have been Jett or writer/director Floria Sigismondi's intention, but a consequence of the (mis)casting of Twilight's Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning as the two leads.

Jett and Currie were teens in the L.A. rock scene in the mid-1970s, when David Bowie-style glam was about to give way to thrashing punk. Sigismondi fares best at capturing the look, sounds, and general vibe of the era, and implying that the Runaways' wild-child aggression came in response to androgynous glam guys. Foppish music producer Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon) hits on the idea of an all-girl band as a sexed-up novelty act. He verbally abuses the young musicians while pocketing their earnings. Shannon's portrayal of the sneering Svengali evokes Robert Downey Jr.'s most coked-up insolence. The character has a point that rock stardom can be more about lust and attitude than talent.

Continue Reading "Casting hits false notes in The Runaways"

(Photo Courtesy Apparition)

Tags: , , ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Fresh Loaf

More by Curt Holman

09/11/2014

Search Events

Search Fresh Loaf

Recent Comments

© 2014 Creative Loafing Atlanta
Powered by Foundation