Make no mistake, this is no straight up band biopic. No pinpoint historical accuracy and realistic dialogue in every scene. However, what it lacks in nonfiction it makes up with excellent acting and creative directing from Floria Sigismondi.
Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning star as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, respectively. However, those that have their head in the ground and do not know who Stewart is might believe that Miss Jett herself was starring if they spaced out during the credits.
Stewart nailed the mannerisms and even the singing voice of the legendary singer. This was no surprise because of her talent, but there was a shocker hidden in this cast.
Dakota Fanning, once only the little girl in Spielberg’s War of the Worlds is now a convincing bi-curious, badass rocker girl in this film. It is startling to see her play the rock stage with convincing fervor. Even more surprising to see her ‘experiment’ with a certain fellow female, but I digress.
Michael Shannon, of course, should not be neglected of a mention. A few years after his small but Academy Award nominated role in Revolutionary Road, it is nice to see him broaden his range and screen time. He was delightfully demented as the Runaways’ band manager, and anyone who is anyone should look forward to seeing him again in other, even bigger roles.
There were weaknesses in The Runaways, of course. The script was sometimes flimsy, and could have been more straightforward. The directing also took chances that did not always work out with the occasional questionable montage and camera angle.
However, the movie should not be missed even if only for the impressive performances and surreal musical performances from Stewart and Fanning, who miraculously provided their own voices for the covers of the originals.