Metacritic score: 70 out of 100
Jawline explores the culture that has developed around self-made digital “broadcasting” stars, and in particular 16-year-old Austyn Tester, who lives what he sees as a dead-end life in rural Tennessee. With dreams of stardom, he sits in his house, positioned in front of his phone’s camera as he lip-syncs to One Direction songs and tells the girls who log onto his YouNow livestream to chase their dreams.
Incredibly, his efforts pay off, and Austyn is swept into a world of teen broadcasting stars, with events held at mall food courts or hotel convention centers where screaming, adoring fans can meet their favorites. His newfound fame also means he comes into contact with people who want to make their fortune off the young upstarts and their fans — like Michael Weist, a very young agent who manages a stable of social media stars and treats them more than a little like livestock, yelling at them, controlling their lives, and coldly discussing their potential.
Michael, who lives in a swanky house in LA, buys luxury goods, and runs a thriving business, couldn’t be more different from Austyn. But thanks to YouNow, they’re part of the same world. The whole story feels like something lifted from dystopian YA fiction, but it’s very real, and Jawline director Liza Mandelup captures it without resorting to ironic detachment or sneering judgement.