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In Max Minghella’s Teen Spirit, aspiring teenage singer Violet (Elle Fanning) pursues her pop dream via a TV reality competition show. The Cinderella plot-line is common enough in underdog stories, but Teen Spirit uses the setup to mount a textured, vibrant, uplifting film enhanced to no end by a clear love for the power of pop music.

A lot of the credit goes to Fanning, who does her own singing. The 21-year-old has enjoyed an auspicious career thus far, but none of her previous roles suggested the power of her performance in Teen Spirit as Violet, a Polish immigrant high schooler living a meager existence with her mother on the Isle of Wight (off the south coast of England).