I'm always interested when I see someone from a photography/music video background make the jump to feature films, because the results have turned out some of the best directors in recent memory (Spike Jonze, Michael Gondry, or David Fincher) and some of the worst (Joseph Kahn, Simon West, Dominic Sena), and I think it's a tough jump to make in general. Photography and music videos are a particular discipline, and the skills it takes to make a great music video do not automatically translate to the skills it takes to make a great feature film.
So in approaching "The Runaways," my first question was not "How accurate is this to the reality of the band from the '70s," since I'm not an expert on the band or the milieu in which they worked, but rather "can Floria Sigismondi tell a story?" And the answer, based on this film, appears to be... sorta.
By now, most of the publicity for this film has focused on the casting of Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Curry, and that's understandable. Stewart's media profile has skyrocketed as a result of her participation in the "Twilight" films, although many critics were already seriously considering her work thanks to roles in films like "Into The Wild" or "Zathura," where she exhibited an interesting charisma on the rise. Fanning, of course, is one of the best known child actors in the world right now, and as she moves towards adulthood, she faces the same struggle that every child actor does: can she make the jump?