Movie Review: Teen Spirit 🎤🎶

Elle Fanning shines as a pop sensation in Teen Spirit.


Elle Fanning stars as Violet in Teen Spirit. CREDIT: LD Entertainment

This post for Teen Spirit is spoiler-free.

Teen Spirit (2019, written and directed by Max Minghella) felt like Elle Fanning’s debut as a full-blown pop star. The film follows 17-year-old Violet (Fanning) who competes in a British singing competition called Teen Spirit (also the title of the film).

The film feels like a compilation of an entire season of the musical competition The X-Factor, as it takes audiences through Violet’s audition, semi-finals, and finally the big show. In between those segments, audiences also get a glimpse of how stardom might get into someone’s head. Fanning is extremely convincing in the role of Violet. Her acting is fantastic because her entire performance as a teenager auditioning for a singing competition is so convincing that I actually want real-life Elle Fanning to be a pop star. You know, like what Hailee Steinfeld is doing.

The film features a wide array of popular music that one would most definitely recognise. The tracks are what you would hear if Spotify’s Today’s Top Hits playlist compiled hits from every year of the 21st century. I think the song choices fit nicely into the theme of the movie, making the vibe very poppy.

For Minghella’s directorial debut, Teen Spirit feels like a safe and amateur film to launch his directing career with. Even though many scenes from the film are filmed stylishly, the script (also written by Minghella) suffers from being original as the plot feels like something taken out of a 21st-century young adult novel. Most singing scenes are filmed like a music video which makes audiences feel like they are watching a live concert—it’s pretty cool, but it’s certainly not something new.

Rating: 3/5

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