THE RUNAWAYS (2010)
Running Time: 109 mins. Rating: 4 Stars/5 Stars
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Floria Sigismondi
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Michael Shannon, Stella Maeve, Scout Taylor-Compton, Alia Shawkat, Riley Keough, Tatum O’Neal
THE RUNAWAYS biopic tells the story of two rock & roll girls, Cherie Currie and Joan Jett, who are introduced by manager/svengali Kim Fowley and become that first major all girl rock & roll band with the girls played their own instruments. This film gives a very good account of how the band started out in small clubs and became huge rock stars in Japan within a year. This climb to the mountaintop was quickly followed by the downfall of singer Cherie Currie, along with the split up of the band caused by the underlying friction between members.
Kristen Stewart surprisingly does an excellent job portraying Joan Jett as does Dakota Fanning with Cherie Currie. Michael Shannon’s Kim Fowley is so on target that I felt it was Kim Fowley playing himself ala Malcolm McLaren in THE GREAT ROCK ‘N ROLL SWINDLE. ’70s child actress Tatum O’ Neal (THE BAD NEWS BEARS, LITTLE DARLINGS) does a splendid job playing Cherie’s mom.
The cinematography and set design were so authentic to the period that they really capture the feel of the post-Nixon ‘70s before disco came along by recreating the clubs with their use of vinyl records and turntables and live bands on stage. Having Joan Jett and Kenny Laguna on board as Executive Producers didn’t hurt the film either. Fans of the original band and also today’s rock music generation will so enjoy re/discovering the music and passion of Cherie, Joan and the girls that they will run out of the theatre, buy an instrument and start being wild girls singing ch ch ch ch ch Cherry Bomb.
If you like this recommendations: Ladies & Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains, Times Square (1980), Rock ‘N Roll High School