Teen Spirit

Generic pop concoction

A shy teenager who dreams of making it as a professional singer gets some guidance from an unexpected source in her quest to win a glitzy, big-deal televised singing contest. Ho hum.

Max (son of Anthony) Minghella’s artsy directorial debut has going for it undeniable energy, plenty of color and light, a kinetic pop-music score and the always-watchable Elle Fanning. What it doesn’t have is a shred of originality or a reason, other than being Max’s directorial debut, for existing. And that kinetic score soon wears out its welcome.

It’s not bad; kind of sweet, actually. But it’s like watching a well-funded film-school exercise. Or a feature-length MTV clip. Nothing wrong with that; just don’t expect much more.

January 10 (93 min)