Monday, January 21, 2013

Light of Day

The New York Times' distressful piece on the new Lindsay Lohan movie reminded me that the wretched Paul Schrader was once a great screenwriter. Anyone who loves movies knows about Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, but Schrader also wrote and directed one of Joan Jett's only acting roles and her only co-starring feature, 1987's underrated Light of Day.

Jett could coast on her hard-boiled charisma and still carry the movie. But in Light of Day she uncovers a zesty, expressive actress, affecting as a single mother sharing a band with her brother (Michael J. Fox) and estranged from her mom (Gena Rowlands). The plot has enough curveballs to take Light of Day above most rock films, and of course the music scenes are a blast, especially the rousing title song (penned by Bruce Springsteen) and a pre-fame cameo from Trent Reznor.

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