Starlet movie poster

Pretty young Jane (an endlessly appealing Dree Hemingway) wakes up one morning, surveys the sun-washed anonymity of her rented room in the Valley, and decides to do something about it. She goes garage-saling for some personal touches, and winds up buying a thermos from cranky widow Sadie (Besedka Johnson). Surprise! The thermos is packed with rolls of cash. Uncertain about what to do next, Jane decides to investigate the woman behind the thermos and figure things out from there. What follows is a triumph of small-scale filmmaking from director Sean Baker: intimate but not sentimental, revealing but not exploitative, and happy to keep its moral concerns rooted in people and the way they treat each other. Most importantly, Starlet understands its leads — their points of communion and divergence, their disparate fears and desires, and ultimately, what each may offer the other. 2012.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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