The vast majority of the buzz surrounding this movie is split across the fact that Kristen Stewart is in it and that she and Dakota Fanning kiss in the film. I’m not wholly sure what the buzz is around the latter, but it should surely be more controversy that salaciousness given that Fanning is only fifteen.
Cinematical’s Kevin Kelly dug the movie, with a pretty significant amount of praise in his review devoted to the performances by Stewart, Fanning and Michael Shannon as Kim Fowley. He describes the performances from all three as “powerful“, but asserts that Shannon “takes this movie, straps it to his back, and walks away with it completely“. On the two female leads:
Kristen Stewart steps out of her normal angsty girl act and nails down the punk rock, hard as nails Jett, and Fanning is equally as good with her disconnected portrayal of Currie, who is dealing with the fact that she’s abandoning her alcoholic father and her twin sister Marie (played as fraternal in the movie, although they were identical in real life) to embrace a life of rock and roll.
Sam Adams for IFC was less taken by the movie itself, but is also praising of the Stewart and Fanning performances:
As much as for its characters, “The Runaways” is a rite of passage for its stars: Fanning, attempting to move beyond her preternaturally placid juvenile roles, and Kristen Stewart, whose volcanic Joan Jett runs hotter than the brooding teens she’s played in, well, everything.
Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir was again entertained, but felt that more was promised somewhere along the line: “[Director Floria] Sigismondi has made a straightforward rock ‘n’ roll biopic that’s fluid and exciting to watch, but clearly aspires to something more,” he says.
One dissenting voice comes from First Showing’s Alex Billington.
…I was completely unimpressed with Floria Sigismondi’s inability to handle the characters, the story, or the film at all. And despite having a good time watching concert scenes, I don’t have much else good to say about The Runaways. This was one of the first big let downs of Sundance for me and I was even looking forward to it.
So mostly love, especially for Fanning and Shannon, though Stewart also picks up quite a few plaudits. There seems a general agreement that it’s a little unfocused character-wise, but the performances do much to rectify these problems.
Duncan Jones has given an interview to Popular Mechanics (found thanks to First Showing) during which he discusses, at length, his upcoming Moon. The trailer for the film, which stars Sam Rockwell in essentially a one-man show, is outstanding, looking very much like all of the scenes from 2001 when they are on the space station will HAL put into a single movie. It has that same feel of creepy calmness and strange happenings without explanation.
Asked about where the idea for the film came from, Jones said he had read a book called Entering Space by Robert Zubrin, specially being attracted to a chapter on the colonisation of the moon and the use of helium-3 as a source for fusion power. He goes on:
“It did seem to be a very logical argument about why you would have a reason to set up a moon base. I think one of the things that is limiting about NASA leading the space race is that everything they do is researched, but it doesn’t have any direct relevance to how it affects our lives. But with helium-3, there is a very direct link to how we could use that as a resource here on Earth and why it would be profitable.”
Jones himself appears to either have done a massive amount of research or is just a major space-head himself. He goes on to discuss screening the film for NASA, the mining techniques used during the film and GERTY, the robot being Rockwell is stuck on the station with.
The interview is quite heavy on the tech details but it’s a fascinating read, enough to get me very excited indeed about his upcoming sci-fi work and his future projects. He says at the conclusion of the interview that he plans to make something akin to Blade Runner.