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Hi.

My name is Gary Zidek. Welcome to The Arts Section. Tune into the radio program every Sunday morning on WDCB 90.9 & 90.7 FM or listen to it online here. I'll be showcasing a variety of arts & entertainment, as well as.highlighting some creative ideas.

Smells like ... TEEN SPIRIT

Smells like ... TEEN SPIRIT

WDCB’s Gary Zidek reviews the new film, TEEN SPIRIT.

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A small town teenager with big dreams climbs the ladder of pop stardom in the new film, TEEN SPIRIT. Elle Fanning stars as Violet Valenski, a quiet 17 year-old who lives with her mom on the Isle of Wight. Violet loves to sing and sees a chance to do what she loves when auditions for an American Idol-style show called Teen Spirit comes to her hometown to hold auditions.

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Violet, with the help of a washed up Croatian opera singer named Vlad, enters the competition. The film then shows us Violet make her way through the TEEN SPIRIT audition process, which starts with an open call that draws hundreds of aspiring pop stars, then a regional final, the winner of that gets to go to London to compete on the actual TEEN SPIRIT TV program.

Take a look at the trailer for TEEN SPIRIT.

The story of an underdog chasing their dream against impossible odds is one we’ve seen many, many times before. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be compelling.  And for the most part TEEN SPIRIT is really entertaining. TEEN SPIRIT is a welcome contemporary addition to the underdog movie category (there’s a little tip of the hat to FLASHDANCE embedded in the movie). Fanning is terrific as Violet. At times TEEN SPIRIT feels as though it’s a series of music videos connected by dialogue. I still enjoyed first-time director Max Minghella’s visual style.

Gary gives TEEN SPIRIT 3 out of 4 stars ***.

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Teen Spirit is playing at theaters nationwide.

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