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Tag: Joan Jett (1-3 of 3)

Casting Net: Noomi Rapace to play seven sisters in dystopian pic; Plus, Sigourney Weaver, more

• Noomi Rapace (Prometheus) will play seven sisters in the dystopian pic What Happened to Monday? Tommy Wirkola (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters) is set to direct the movie about a set of septuplets born into a strictly enforced one-child per family society. Wirkola originally intended to cast a man in the lead. In the release announcing the news, he said: “I was struck by the complexities of having an actor portray seven characters and immediately knew Noomi was the ideal actor — male or female — to bring them to life.” Max Botkin wrote the script, which made the 2010 Black List. [THR]

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In 'Foxes' and 'Light of Day,' the real Cherie Currie and Joan Jett revealed more about themselves than 'The Runaways' does

currie-jettImage Credit: Everett CollectionA number of readers have ripped me for writing an entire review of The Runaways in which I somehow failed to include a single word about Dakota Fanning’s performance. You’re right, point taken, I should have. All right, here goes: She was perfectly okay. Actually, when I realized that I’d written the review that way, I just figured that I’d let my lack of comment on Fanning’s performance stand as an implicit statement that there wasn’t all that much to say about it. She’s quite the critics’ darling these days — always has been, really — but to me, Dakota Fanning, as she’s grown up, has turned into a slightly odd actress, luminous and emotionally delicate but also passive and a bit spaced. She’s gifted, but as a presence she’s not all there.

In The Runaways, she plays Cherie Currie as a put-upon nice girl who worships David Bowie (and gets pelted with wads of paper at school for it!), then learns how to snarl and cock her body on stage like a real punk she-devil. Yet somehow, through all the drugs and girl fights and bleary, sleepless tour dates and leering of the boys in the audience and abuse piled upon her by the group’s domineering packager-producer-manager-Svengali-tormenter, Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon), Cherie manages to retain the wispy essence of her wayward-ingenue innocence. Fanning has one good scene near the end where Cherie is blasted on drugs and tries, without any luck, to purchase a bottle of liquor; her slovenly, impotent fury at the sales people is startling. But up until then, Fanning’s competent, rather wan acting fits all too neatly into the film’s pious, slightly sanitized vision of Cherie Currie as a sweetly alienated, emotionally neglected Los Angeles girl who got put through a pop-culture meat grinder.

Yes, that’s kind of what happened, but if we really want to be progressive (and truthful) about it, let’s also give the members of the Runaways credit for being the young women they chose to be, even if they were just babe-in-the-urban-woods teenagers. From all the sources I’ve encountered (including the memoir on which the movie is based), the real Cherie Currie was, and still is, a pistol, a girl who got herself into heaps of trouble because she eagerly sought it out. READ FULL STORY

Where have all the biopics gone?

A few years ago, the Hollywood biopic finally seemed to be coming of age. It was the fall of 2004 — a season that gave us not one but two of the most thrilling biographical dramas ever made, the jumpin’ and impassioned Ray and the bold and brilliant Kinsey. (No, that’s not Kinsey at left — it’s Woody Harrelson as Larry Flynt — though it’s probably a ménage he would have approved of.) The fact that these two movies came out within one month of each other was a coincidence, yet I marveled, at the time, at what they had in common: They were warts-and-all portraits that understood, in different ways, that they didn’t need to tidy up their heroes, didn’t need to soft-pedal their quirks and peccadilloes and, yes, their complex human failings. The flaws — like, say, Ray Charles’ promiscuity, his compulsion to juggle relationships as if they were simultaneous marriages — weren’t just part of what made these men fascinating; the flaws were part of what made them great. (Without Ray Charles’ outsize appetites, he would never have had the fearlessness to alchemize the godliness of gospel into the earthy fervor of rock & roll.)

One year later, Walk the Line, a solid if not quite as inspired movie, gave Johnny Cash the same open-eyed, scarred-soul, addiction-is-the-fuel-of-creativity treatment, and Capote created high drama out of the merciless, nearly spooky manipulation of his subjects that Truman Capote was willing to stoop to to create the world’s first nonfiction novel. And once again, audiences responded. The door to a freshly candid and exciting age of biopics had been swung, and propped, wide open. And then? Then, just about as quickly as it had arrived, the trend began to fizzle. Yes, in 2007, there was La Vie en Rose, and there are other examples here and there, but really: Where have all the biopics gone? By which I mean, the great ones. READ FULL STORY

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