The trailer for Teen Spirit, the forthcoming pop-star coming-of-age-story movie written and directed by Max Minghella, features Elle Fanning as Violet, a young English girl from humble beginnings who enters an American Idol-style singing competition. In it, Fanning sings a cover of Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own,” and although she sounds pretty good, at every turn she looks half-scared and/or mentally and physically exhausted. Along the way on her path to fame, a singing coach with a gravelly voice and a woman with distinct Emily Blunt-in-The Devil Wears Prada vibes tell Violet how difficult the task she’s about to undertake will be. It’s a singing competition! It’s obviously meant to be hard, but I’m not sure what the stakes are here.
“A meek girl with big dreams” is one of the oldest stories in the book, and Teen Spirit aims to update it by featuring pop songs released from the past few years; at the end of the trailer reveals that Fanning will also sing songs by Tegan & Sara, Carly Rae Jepsen, Elle Goulding, and Annie Lennox. If the producers really wanted to modernize it, though, Fanning would accidentally go viral on TikTok or another wannabe Vine-successor, and have to choose between finishing high school and making six-second songs optimized for vertical video for a living. I like Fanning and I leave room to be surprised. I will probably watch this anyway to see what Carly song she picks.