CHICAGO – For most of us, music literally becomes the soundtrack to our lives. They become a reflection of our mood, innermost thoughts, and even our fears. Sometimes they are just a pick me up, the same way Cardi B is currently soundtracking the writing of this review. Certain, well-placed songs can even tell our life story without us having to utter a single word, much like Teen Spirit.
Max Minghella writes and directs this ode to youth and chasing your dreams. Most recently known for his role as Nick in the bleak, near-future parable “The Handmaid’s Tale”, he too follows his dreams with this film, but with mixed success. “Teen Spirit” follows the journey of Violet (Elle Fanning) as competes in a singing competition to win a record deal and to finally be able to leave her small hometown and religious household. That’s it, that’s all you really need to know about the story since every other bit of exposition happens through song.
The youth today will never know the joys of staying up late at night watching MTV because that was the only time they played music videos anymore. Sarcasm aside, the closest feeling I can compare it to now is when your YouTube video auto-plays random songs. If the stars align, you can get several consecutive songs you like that perfectly matches your life or mood. In “Teen Spirit”, nothing is left to chance. What Minghella lacks in story development, he makes up for with his pitch-perfect choices in music to tell the story.
“Teen Spirit” opened everywhere on April 19th. Featuring Elle Fanning, Agnieszka Grochowska, Archie Madekwe, Zlatko Buric, and Millie Brady. Directed by Max Minghella. Written by Max Minghella. Rated “PG-13”
Photo credit: Bleecker Street