Trailer for Max Minghella's Directorial Debut TEEN SPIRIT Starring Elle Fanning

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We have the first trailer for Max Minghella’s debut as a writer-director, Teen Spirit, and I am here for it. I mean, I have questions, for sure. Like, why is the marketing push so heavily focussed on the fact that Elle Fanning will be singing covers of very mainstream pop hits? Is that a thing the world has been clamoring for? And if this is a spin on Cinderella, does that make Rebecca Hall the fairy godmother? Also, I have this (probably totally misbegotten) idea that debut films from writer-directors are intensely personal, so why is Minghella’s first film a retelling of Cinderella in which Elle Fanning sings a lot of covers of mainstream pop hits? I would like to sit down and talk to him about that for seven to twelve hours.

All of that aside, from the trailer this looks like pretty much my platonic ideal of a film, and I have had Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” stuck in my head since I watched it. On top of that, Minghella is a talented actor, and his dad was one of the great filmmakers of the late 20th century/early 21st century, so it will be interesting to see how all that talent and heritage translates when he is behind the camera. (No pressure, though, Max.) Check out the trailer and decide for yourselves.

Here is the official synopsis:

"Violet (Elle Fanning) is a shy teenager who dreams of escaping her small town and pursuing her passion to sing. With the help of an unlikely mentor, she enters a local singing competition that will test her integrity, talent and ambition. Driven by a pop-fueled soundtrack, Teen Spirit is a visceral and stylish spin on the Cinderella story."

And when I said the marketing materials push the whole “Elle Fanning sings cover songs” aspect, I mean this is a quote from both the publicist’s email I got AND the trailer, and the trailer is described as “featuring Elle Fanning performing ‘Lights’ by Ellie Goulding”:

”Featuring Elle Fanning performing music by Robyn, Ellie Goulding, Tegan & Sara, Annie Lennox, Orbital, Sigrid, Carly Rae Jepsen & Jack Antonoff. Additional music by Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Grimes, The Undertones, Aqua, Alice Deejay, Whigfield, Major Lazer and No Doubt.”

I just hope this movie includes a slowed-down, soulful rendition of “Call Me Maybe” at a pivotal moment. I’ll find out when it hits theaters on April 5.

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