Max Minghella has been doing his part to disturb audiences with the all-too-familiar horrors of Gilead as Nick on The Handmaid’s Tale, but the actor is making his writing-directing debut at the Toronto International Film Festival this year with Teen Spirit. Starring Elle Fanning as a teenage singer named Violet, the film follows the ambitious aspiring pop star on her coming-of-age journey to a televised talent competition a la American Idol.
The film earning some early buzz for Fanning’s performance and also promises to be music heavy, and as the trailer teases, featuring performances of and music by Robyn, Ellie Goulding, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Tegan & Sara, Annie Lennox, Orbital, Alice Deejay, The Undertones, Major Lazer, Grimes, Whigfield, and Sigrid, and an original song performed by Fanning and produced by Jack Antonoff.
Teen Spirit will debut at TIFF later this week
— Max Minghella (@maxminghella) September 5, 2018
Here’s the synopsis provided on the official TIFF website:
“Seventeen-year-old Violet (Elle Fanning, also at the Festival in Galveston) lives with her mother (Agnieszka Grochowska) on a small farm on the Isle of Wight. Her days are spent doing chores, waiting tables, and attending secondary school, where she keeps to herself.
But in her free time – spent alone in her room, in the fields with her beloved horse, or at an under-attended open-mic night – Violet surrenders to song. She’s a naturally gifted singer for whom pop stardom might not be mere fantasy. This lovely film, the directorial debut of actor Max Minghella (The Handmaid’s Tale), tells the story of how Violet gathers the courage to come out of her shell with a bang.
This is also the story of a friendship. Vlad (Zlatko Buric), a once-celebrated opera singer, hears Violet and knows she’s something special. He declares himself her manager and trainer, accompanying her as she tries out for a popular televised musical talent program called Teen Spirit. Vlad is a bear of a man with a tendency to drink away his sorrows, but if he and Violet can stick together as her star rises, they might just make each other better people.”