Title: Teen Spirit
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Max Minghella
Starring: Elle Fanning, Agnieszka Grochowska, Zlatko Buric
Runtime: 1 hr 33 mins
What It Is: Teenage dreamer Violet (Fanning) is a terrific singer, but she is ridiculous shy. She has dreams and aspirations of getting off the Isle of Wight and, perhaps, becoming a star. Though her mother Marla (Grochowska) does not understand or get why she’d want to do this. With the help of an older, retired I suppose, opera singer named Vlad (Buric). Now with the singing competition show “Teen Spirit” arriving on the Isle Violet sees this as her opportunity.
What We Think: What a marvel of a piece. Actor Max Minghella writes and directs a piece that for me is such a breath of fresh air in 2019. It’s a music film with good covers, it’s an underdog tale with a satisfying arc. Elle Fanning is wonderful here. A statement I’d truly thought I’d never get to say. She’d been doing some fantastic work but the films just haven’t been there. Looking at you Neon Demon. Minghella does a really nice job with shot selection. In reality, though the lovely color choices of cinematographer Autumn Durald are the thing that’ll stand with you after the film has ended.
Our Grade: A-, Yeah, you’re surprised? Me too honestly! I went into the film with no expectations of this being remotely entertaining or good. Instead, you get a good film with great music that tells an oft-told story really well. I recommend this super highly. In fact, I’d say this is a surprise top ten film for me for 2019 thus far. Check it out for a great performance from its star and some decent covers of contemporary hits. Shout out the Interscope Films for a great second venture after an underwhelming 2009 debut.