No idea when this will get a indie cinema run here, but i managed to catch an early screening of it at the Sydney Film Festival last night. I'm glad i did, because the movie was fucking badass!.
First time movie director Floria Sigismondi is best known for her music video work. She's directed a lot of rock videos [including collaborations with singers like Marilyn Manson], and has even thrown a couple pop videos into her portfolio as well [both with Christina Aguilera]. Her slick music video style is PERFECT for this type of film. Not only does she KNOW how to shoot rock and roll and make it look cool, but she captures the feel of the 70's really well. It looks authentic. She has a good eye for colour and editing as well, there's some great camera work in this, and she gets very up close and wild with the live performance sections of the film.
The story isn't anything we haven't seen or heard before. Band gets created, band gets big, singer gets all the acclaim, other band members get pissed off, and drug habits and sex antics run rampant. What really makes this film move beyond a predictable plot however are the lead performances. Talk about a 360!!!! Dakota and Kristen are both FANTASTIC in this. I've been vocal about Kristen's shaky acting in the Twilight films on many occasions, and although she's been perfectly fine in her other films, this is the first time we REALLY get to see her actually BECOME someone else and show off her acting ability. She really surprised me in this, and she looked like she loved every minute of it. Butch dykey rockstar suits her very well. We all know Dakota can act, she's been tackling adult roles she was a kid. She really steps it up a notch in this though. She is completely magnetic on screen, she has a great presence for such a young actress and she stole every scene she was in. I absolutely loved her in this. Michael Shannon as their eccentric manager was good in this too. He got some good laughs out of the audience i was with.
The band may not have been around for too long, and they may only be famous for one song [Cherry Bomb, they did have a few albums though], but it wasn't their hits or record sales that made such a big impact. They were the first EVER all girl rock band, and not only were they all girl, but they rocked it out like THE BOYS too. They changed the rules, and it was after them that a window for female rockers really opened up. Also, it was the early starting point for Joan Jett, who as we know, later became one of the most iconic female rockers in the history of music. Their short lived run certainly made a special impact.
If you like rock, if you like music bios, or are a fan of either Dakota or Kristen, you'll find SOMETHING to like in this movie. It may not offer anything original, but it still has some great performances, direction and music that's bound to entertain you. The audience of aged hippies and young punks only made my viewing experience even MORE special than it already was!.
It's my second favourite film of the year so far. I loved every minute of it.