Parents' Guide to

Viena and the Fantomes

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Smoking, drinking, language in meandering road-trip movie.

Movie R 2020 96 minutes
Viena and the Fantomes Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Meandering and slow yet fitfully fascinating due to the compelling setting, interesting cast, and beautiful cinematography, this indie has a spiky, edgy vibe that feels like realistic road life. Fanning, with her big spooky eyes and semi-mute magnetism, is always an interesting performer. Fans of her turn in The Runaways might see Viena as a bit of a riff on Cherie Currie: tattered rock star clothes, jagged suicide-blonde hair, and a take-no-prisoners toughness. Interestingly, Viena has less than a few dozen lines in the movie. Instead of talking, she just confidently takes up space on-screen and in the Fantomes' rundown tour buses and impromptu camping spots.

Speaking of the titular band, its members don't really emerge as personalities. Freddy (Jeremy Allen White), the band member Viena finds herself attached to, alternately stares silently and throws creepily over-the-top tantrums. Albert (Caleb Landry Jones), whom horror fans will remember as the twitchy, terrifying brother in Get Out, menaces Viena and, we hear, other women on tour, though most of his character's juice comes from the actor's eccentric line readings rather than anything he has to say. Ultimately, not much happens in this movie. But joining a punk band on tour is undeniably cool, and it's pleasant enough to ride with this cast down empty back roads, hang out drinking beers in cluttered travel trailers, and gather around a bonfire in a vacant lot, swapping gossip. The Fantomes live a pretty miserable existence, but from the perspective of a comfy couch, it's kind of cool to spend a little time with them anyway.

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