1. “Ciao, Bella: Post-Twilight, Kristen Stewart Continues to Astound.” For The Village Voice, critic Melissa Anderson offers an appreciation of the under-appreciated actress.
“The Twilight franchise’s advancement of a conservative agenda of one (undead) man, one woman might have been boosted by the fact that Stewart and Pattinson were dating for much of the series’s 2008–12 run. But throughout these years, the actress, refusing to be pigeonholed, signed up for projects that complicated the swoony, boy-crazy, high-femme virgin character that was bringing in box office billions. As Joan Jett in The Runaways (2010), Floria Sigismondi’s lush recounting of the rise and fall of the jailbait Seventies rock group, Stewart no longer slinks—she swaggers, strutting not for guys but for girls. She plays the teenage guitarist like a heat-seeking missile, one aimed at Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning), the bandmate she’s besotted with. Bathed in cherry-bomb-red light, these two share a sultry kiss, the lip-lock initiated by Jett. Stewart’s brilliant baby-dyke bravado in The Runaways, her unabashed lustfulness, reveals an appetite that Twilight tamped down (if not outright forbade). Since that franchise concluded, her characters’ desires, sometimes unconventional, have often been expressed in more oblique, though no less stirring, ways.”