Dakota Fanning's porcelain-doll features were swathed in exotic makeup and her blond hair coiffed into a feathery shag; she raised her umpteenth shot of sake and cast a knowing glance at Kristen Stewart. The "Twilight" star held Fanning's gaze briefly and toasted back, looking every inch the tough rocker chick, with her matching black shag hairdo, spiked bracelet and razor-blade charm necklace. The actresses clinked glasses and giggled.
With downtown Los Angeles' Kyoto Grand Hotel standing in for a bustling Tokyo sushi joint last summer, the teen stars were on the set of the coming-of-age drama "The Runaways" -- in character, with Fanning as Cherie Currie, the wild-child lead singer of the titular all-girl rock group, and Stewart portraying Joan Jett, its electric-guitar-wielding, 'tude-copping founder. Between the years 1975 and '79, the Runaways packed shows from coast to coast, toured the world and racked up hits before self-immolating in a blaze of drugs, jealousies and in-fighting.
"The Runaways" will premiere next Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, arriving as one of the fest's most outrightly commercial offerings, thanks largely to Stewart's demonstrated "opening" power as a marquee draw. (Put out by independent distributor Apparition, the movie reaches theaters in March.) But "The Runaways" is also one of the most piquantly feminist films to touch down this year at America's preeminent independent film forum -- albeit a punk- infused genre pic with a pronounced generational viewpoint and no shortage of blood, drug abuse and bodily effluvia.