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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 17, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Accent

Gritty film reveals singers’ rock lives

Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift have nothing on singers Joan Jett and Cherie Currie.

“The Runaways” exposes the true lives of these girl-power icons in an interesting film. It shows how they rocked hard and partied harder, exploring their music, sexuality and newfound fame in the gritty 1970s music scene.

In the “The Runaways,” a group of teenage girls are pushed into a band by shady manager Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon). On tour, the musicians face the difficulties of being an all-female group in a time when “girls don’t play electric guitar.”

Jett (Kristen Stewart) is the guitarist who swears and swaggers her way through the film, while Currie (Dakota Fanning) is the doe-eyed 15-year-old lead singer. Fanning is the standout actress, transitioning from a naïve teenager to a jailbait sex kitten.

Director Floria Sigismondi puts her experience as a music video director to use. The best scenes are when The Runaways perform; the camera moves quickly, and the atmosphere is wild. The soundtrack of ’70s punk-rock hits adds to the film’s chaotic tone.

“The Runaways” main downfall is its pacing. The rise and fall of the band feels rushed, whereas scenes of Currie’s home life are too long. Nevertheless, “The Runaways” is successful in showing the way the band rocked its way into music history.

“The Runaways” was written and directed by Floria Sigismondi.