An unlikely friendship forms between twenty-one-year-old Jane and the elderly Sadie after Jane discovers a hidden stash of money inside an object at Sadie’s yard sale.
“Starlet” is a drama film released in 2012, directed by Sean Baker. Set in the San Fernando Valley in California, the movie follows the unlikely friendship between Jane (played by Dree Hemingway), a young aspiring actress, and Sadie (played by Besedka Johnson), an elderly widow.
The film opens with Jane discovering a large sum of money in a thermos she purchased from a yard sale held by Sadie. Rather than returning the money, Jane develops a curiosity about Sadie’s life and decides to befriend her. As the story unfolds, we witness the deepening bond between the two women, as they navigate their contrasting life experiences and explore their own personal struggles.
“Starlet” is a slow-burning character study that delves into themes of loneliness, intergenerational connections, and the complexities of human relationships. The performances in the film are outstanding, particularly from Dree Hemingway and Besedka Johnson, who bring authenticity and depth to their respective roles. Their chemistry is remarkable, and their interactions form the heart of the film.
One notable aspect of “Starlet” is its exploration of the mundane and everyday aspects of life. Director Sean Baker has a knack for capturing the subtle nuances and quiet moments that shape his characters’ lives. The film presents a raw and realistic portrayal of the characters, avoiding melodrama and opting for a more naturalistic approach.
Another strength of the movie is its cinematography. Shot on 16mm film, the visuals have a distinct grainy texture that adds to the film’s overall aesthetic. The cinematography captures the essence of the San Fernando Valley, showcasing its vibrant colors and unique atmosphere.
While “Starlet” received positive reviews from critics, it is worth noting that it might not appeal to everyone due to its slow pace and understated narrative. However, for those who appreciate character-driven stories and nuanced performances, it offers a compelling and thought-provoking viewing experience.
In summary, “Starlet” is a well-crafted drama that explores the unlikely friendship between a young aspiring actress and an elderly widow. With strong performances, subtle storytelling, and beautiful cinematography, it offers an intimate and engaging portrayal of human connection.