Teen Spirit is the story of Violet Valenski (Elle Fanning), a teen who lives in a provincial European town with her single mother. They struggle to get by financially, working multiple jobs, and trying to man a house and farm that are too big for them. All the while, Violet has a secret dream: to sing. And, she’s not going to stop until she has a real audience.

The film is the directorial debut of Max Minghella, who you may know from his acting roles in The Mindy Project, The Darkest Hour, or The Social Network. It is also executive produced by actor Jamie Bell of Billy Elliot, Jumper, The Eagle, and more.

Soon into the story, we learn that — as with most parent-teen relationships — Violet’s mom doesn’t understand her. She wants her to daughter use her voice solely for the church choir and doesn’t get her unrealistic pop star dreams. So, naturally, Violet hides the fact that she spends what little downtime she has singing at a morose dive bar on the outskirts of town.

When Violet sees a poster for a singing competition — an American Idol-type show — everything changes. She signs up, and, contrary to what her classmates think will happen, aces the first round of auditions. But, moving on to the next round means she must bring a guardian with her, and she knows her mother won’t approve. Uh-oh.

Violet secretly enlists the help of Vlad (Zlatko Burić), a kindhearted alcoholic from the pub who believe she has real talent. The washed-up opera singer poses as her uncle/manager, and, just like that, she’s on her way.

The audience follows Violet throughout the competition, rooting for her and simultaneously being irked by her reckless, ungrateful actions. She predictably gains the support of her mother but hurts others in the process of figuring out what she wants. But what can you do? She’s a teen. If she were 100 percent likable the story would feel disingenuous.

Fanning has become quite the indie dream girl, with roles in films like The Neon Demon and Galveston, and the industry — and this film — are all the better for it. The young actress brings heart and soul to the modern Cinderella story and reveals an impressive set of pipes worthy of a pop star. If she ever gives up on acting, she’s surely got a singing career to fall back on.

Teen Spirit opens in theaters this Friday, April 5th.