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The story is minimalistic. Silences are beautifuly placed and tell the audience more than what would dialogue do. Or at least, it gives the audience the space to relate with the movie, and fill the blanks with those feelings.
The music and photography are there to back up the mood of the film amazingly. I fully recommend it.
Imagine my surprise; a well-written, well-crafted, simple story about integrity, good intentions and issues of the elderly. I won't give away some of the more sensational plot-points, but the plentiful DVD extras explain that first impressions should not make one judgmental regarding the true make up of a person. The talented Mr Baker lets you know these people before adding an interesting element that may shock some (I found it mildly amusing).
Dree Hemingway is remarkable as Jane, a girl new to the San Fernando Valley, staying with friends while she establishes herself. She buys a thermos from a cranky old lady at a yard sale (the magnificent Besedka Johnson), later to find out there's $10K inside. This makes Jane uncomfortable, and she attempts to find out if the old lady might really need that money, a guilt-complex that results in an adventure of stalking, friendship, fondness, understanding and genuine love.
At age 85, it was Johnson's first film role, and she handles it like a pro. It's Jane's integrity and perseverance to know this old woman that is the gist of the film, a sweetness that can't help but move the viewer. It's a beautifully controlled relationship starting with suspicion, mutual interests, leading to genuine caring. I was totally taken in. The film still resonates with me, though I saw it over a week ago.
I won't give away the other plot points, but there are terrific supporting players; Stella Maeve as Jane's stoner best friend, Melissa, and James Ransone, great as Melissa's manic, stoner boyfriend.Read more ›
I felt like I was watching real people, more than I do when I watch some documentaries. The look, thoughtfulness and realistic characters remind me of some of the best American films that focus on relationships produced in the 70s, like Kramer vs Kramer. Now it's often good independent films like Starlet that seem to step back more and allow us to think and feel things more naturally as we watch.
So she engineers a way to be a `Good Samaritan' to Sadie (the late Besedka Johnson) with her faithful lapdog in tow - this is `Starlet' of the film title. What starts out as marked for failure in the relationship department soon blossoms into a real friendship. However, Jane lives with Melissa and Mikey - Melissa is one of those people who think the Universe revolves around them and everyone is here to do her a favour; so she finds it strange that her `besty' is hanging with an old lady and wont let it lie - to say more is straying into the realms of plot spoiling.
As I mentioned this is a film that plays out slowly but it is interesting all the way and actually quite a lot does happen. Dree Hemmingway is superb as is the pooch but then there are convincing performances from everyone. Director Sean Baker has made a film that will stand the test of time and has a subtle yet simple message about friendship. If you like your films a bit quirky and are prepared to take a risk then I think you will be happily surprised with Starlet.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is a good movie to watch when you're extremely bored. There wasn't much of a plot.. The ending was VERY confusing though.Published 7 months ago by Fatimah
STARLET is one of my absolute favorite movies of all time! I didn't know anything about it and ordered it because I had seen a previous movie of the director, Sean Baker,... Read morePublished 8 months ago by JIM DIGIOVANNI
This movie hasn’t much of a plot. Jane, a small time porn actress befriends an elderly woman, Sadie after buying a vase from her and discovering thousands of dollars therein. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Knock-Knock
My good friend, Besedka, was in this movie. Great story as to how she got this part. She had just moved to L.A. from San Francisco and was at the YMCA swimming pool. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Janis Arch
One would think there's not much more to say about the empty life of druggy, fringy youth in L.A.'s San Fernando valley. Read morePublished 16 months ago by K. Gordon
This movie was about a girl who is trying to make it in the porn industry. She questions her integrity on weather or not to keep a jar of money that she found in a vase she bought... Read morePublished on June 12, 2014 by Smashly
I'm about to tell you something so shocking you might not believe me. Something so incredible that only a talented writing team such as the ones who wrote Starlet could come up... Read morePublished on April 9, 2014 by Bryan