You can sometimes detect little hints in the online summaries of Sundance Film Festival selections (which are usually written by festival programmers) about how good or not-so-good the films are. And they’re evident, I think, in the summary for Floria Sigismondi‘s The Runaways, the ’70s rock-band biopic with Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie. And I’m a little bit worried.
The film is “an ode to an era and a groundbreaking band,” the summary says. (In other words, it’s all over the place?) “Acclaimed video artist Floria Sigismondi directs from her own script” — danger! danger Will Robinson! “Her luscious camerawork captures every sweaty detail, from the filthy trailer where the women practice to the mosh pits of Tokyo,” it says. (In other words, the camerawork is fast, random and grab-baggy without conveying a unifying mood or aesthetic.) “What really makes the film cook are the sizzling performances by Fanning and Stewart.” (That’s fine but in what ways does the film itself cook? What does it say, where’s it coming from, what’s the angle or undercurrent?)