A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
STARLET explores the unlikely cross-generational friendship between 21 year-old Jane (Dree Hemingway), and the elderly Sadie (Besedka Johnson), two women whose worlds collide in California's San Fernando Valley. Jane, an aspiring actress, spends her time getting high with her dysfunctional roommates, Melissa and Mikey (Stella Maeve and James Ransone), while caring for her Chihuahua, Starlet. Sadie, a widow, passes her days alone, tending to her flower garden. After a confrontation between the women at Sadie's yard sale, Jane uncovers a hidden stash of money inside a relic from Sadie's past. Jane attempts to befriend the caustic older woman in an effort to solve her dilemma and secrets emerge as their relationship grows. Director Sean Baker continues in the naturalistic style of his previous films, the award-winning and Spirit Award nominees PRINCE OF BROADWAY and TAKE OUT, capturing the rhythms of everyday life with an authenticity rarely seen in cinema. Featuring a pair of ... Written by
The manager of Dree Hemingway gets in touch with the director Sean Baker for the film. Sean Baker arranges a conversation on Skype before the meeting but he decides to work with Dree after the 20th minute Skype call. See more »
What's worse than getting banged by Jack the Ripper? Getting fingered by Captain Hook.
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Starlet is a character study very much in the spirit of films from the 70s. I think the director was influenced by the likes of Hal Ashby and Paul Mazursky.
A young, slightly aimless woman who has just moved San Fernando Valley, buys a vintage thermos flask at a yard sale from a cranky old lady and discovers $10.000 inside. After making a half-hearted attempt to give it back, she keeps the money, but then feels guilty and tries to befriend the old woman, who remains guarded to the point of hostility at the prospect of having her life disrupted.
The film doesn't ever resort to cosy indie movie clichés about the old passing on their wisdom the the young and life lessons being learned. It also doesn't exploit the young woman's line of business for cheap melodrama, as lesser films would. Both lead performances are wonderful and a cute dog always helps.
The film looks and sounds gorgeous and the director has a knack for what to show us and what to leave out. It's another good case for digital film-making. Talented independent film makers can now make great looking films for peanuts, which is just as well considering Hollywood has almost completely given up on making films for adults.
BTW. the trailer makes this look like another anodyne "heart warming" indie, full of laughter and whimsy, when really it's a much more melancholy, ambivalent and subtle film.
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