I could go on for days and days and days about how much I love the Fanning sisters. Especially Elle. The Neon Demon may very well be my favorite movie of all time, either that or Mulholland Drive. Neon lights, popular music, and Elle singing is all I needed to convince myself to see this opening night. Max Minghella excels in capturing the performance and musical aspects of the film although the story has been seen and done many times. Still, I found it an enjoyable watch mostly through another typically great leading performance from the lovely Elle.
The film is about a Polish teen from around The Isle of Wight, who has aspirations to be a singer. A singing contest named Teen Spirit comes near her vicinity and she enters with the help of a former opera singer named Vlad. After trials, she finally makes it to the later rounds of the TV show and attains fame. However, she runs the risk of letting the fame get to her head and forgetting where she came from and who helped her to get there. Max Minghella of The Handmaid’s Tale fame directs and writes his first film, which was quite interesting to me.
The pop songs and covers are quite good and catchy. Elle is a powerhouse when she performs. This girl never ceases to amaze me and the fact that she is able to have stage performance here goes to show the talent she possesses. A lot of the film succeeds because of her performance. The musical performances and cinematography surrounding it is alluring as well. The story is the typical rags to riches, teen living the big dream story.
While it is an unoriginal and very simple story to tell, the film has enough going for it to keep you interested. I also very much enjoyed seeing Zlatko Buric in this film. Thought he was great in the Pusher series, particularly Pusher III. Teen Spirit won’t be a mindblowing experience or the indy darling you are looking for but it is a solid effort and impressive debut from the unlikely Minghella. I’m there when there is anything Elle. Now to check out the film’s soundtrack.