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Female rockers command the stage in ‘The Runaways’

04/20/2010
By:

Steve Miller

Staff Writer

In today’s age where it seems anyone can get famous regardless of talent, “The Runaways,” directed by Flori Sigmundi, showcases a different era in music—when female rockers took the stage in a male-dominated genre with instruments in hand and powerful musical statements on their lips.

The 1970s band “The Runaways” included Joan Jett, Sandy West, Lita Ford and front woman Cherie Currie.

They blew up in the American rock scene at the time but their fame was short-lived. The film exemplifies the band’s four-year history beginning with Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) meeting record producer Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon). Eventually Fowley hooks Jett up with Currie (Dakota Fanning) and that’s when the magic started.

The film centers on the gritty side of the rock and roll industry at the time and doesn’t hold back. Although it is mildly strange seeing Fanning in such a mature role, she holds strong throughout her performance and with Stewart by her side, the two do a surprisingly good job of portraying the raw energy of the true Cherry Bombs in a world filled with sexuality, frustration and exploitation.

“The Runaways” may run into a few issues of focus throughout the film, but Sigmundi manages to capture the authentic feel of girl power famously heard from the band’s original recordings. “Twilight” and “Signs” fans, watch out: these girls have an unapologetic message of angst heading straight your way.

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