Sounds Like Teen Spirit (2009)
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The hopes and dreams of aspiring musicians competing in the junior version of the Eurovision Song Contest serve as the emotional core of this behind the scenes look at one of Europe's hottest television contests. The rules are just the same as the Eurovision Song Contest with one key difference - the songs performed by the junior entrants must be entirely original compositions, not cover tunes. As the competition heats up, eager musicians and groups descend upon Rotterdam to compete in the finals. But there can be only one winner, and in the lead-up to the finals, most of the contestants will see their dreams of stardom fade as the spotlight shifts to reveal the one performer who . ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Sounds Like Teen Spirit
Johnson's film is meant to be a heartwarming and funny look at young dreamers and the realities of their lives. But there's something distasteful in portraying these kids as lovable losers.
This is another moderately interesting documentary following some obscure competition in which there will be grieving losers, exultant winners and little widespread acclaim.
Johnson never hits on a story that's worth telling, and his arch interjections about the contest marking the end of war in Europe hit all the wrong notes. Where's Terry Wogan when you need him?
This is a warm and very funny film that completely wins us over as it progresses.
A cast of cute kids and quirky teens make for an unorthodox but endearing documentary.
Johnson serves the story well and strikes a welcome tone by taking his subjects just seriously enough. Very enjoyable - but no more than an extended 'Pop Idol' for cinema.
It is physically impossible to emerge from this film wearing anything other than a smile as big as an upside-down rainbow. Congratulations - and jubilations!
The documentary Sounds Like Teen Spirit has a thoroughly dismal premise but it is a remarkable and deeply affecting watch.
An entertaining, if slight, documentary about the Junior Eurovision song contest, which has the same trappings of wholesome glitz and polite nationalism that distinguishes the grown-up version.
Director Jamie Jay Johnson has hit gold with his subjects, and it's heartening how much he focuses on the ones with actual talent.
An exquisitely poignant, hilarious and uplifting reminder of the power of music, and cinema, to enrich your life.
The world could do with some feelgood fun at the moment, and this is utterly infectious - a total joy.
The feeling of unity and pride pierces even the hardest heart, particularly as many of these kids have experienced devastating conflicts in their homeland.
Gooey tunes and rampant primary colours can't scupper the slick yet guileless crowdpleasing of Jamie J Johnson's debut doc. We might giggle and gag on the garish Euro-pop, but Johnson gets us on-side with winning, grinning empathy.
The children dominate the film, and their openness and enthusiasm overwhelm any latent cynicism.
Filled with backstage tears and onstage triumph, the film neatly captures the sheer awkwardness of being a youngster. Go see.
This toe-tappingly energetic documentary is a real delight as it traces the talent and traumas of Euro kids as they strive for musical success. It is affectionate, amusing and thoroughly charming - the kids are genuinely thoughtful and engaging.
Director Jamie Jay Johnson tries to lend his project some gravitas by contrasting this friendly competition with Europe's warring past. But that smells like b******* because, essentially, this is like watching X Factor highlights.
Sounds Like Teen Spirit has its share of emotional manipulation but this documentary on the Junior Eurovision leaves one saddened by so much hope, enthusiasm, ambition and energy expended on such a tacky concept.
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