Jane (Dree Hemingway) is a seemly vapid young dumb blonde whose job affords her too much spare time. Living with a couple who spend their time lying around, smoking weed, playing video games, and smoking Jane does not immediately come across as a sympathetic lead. After buying a thermos at a yard sale Jane finds herself drawn to helping an elderly woman she meets, Sadie (Besedka Johnson). Sadie is reluctant and suspicious at first but gradually a bond forms and an unlikely friendship is started.
With the stereotypical indie film unlikely friendship at its core Starlet has the potential to feel clichéd but somehow tells its story in a uniquely natural fashion. None of the acting feels like acting and the relaxed handheld camera work and sleepy muted colour pallet lend the film an authentic edge. Both lead actresses are giving their feature film debut and yet their performances are the most convincing I have seen all year.
The film has a few surprises up its sleeves forcing you to reconsider the characters you are watching and question your preconceptions about people of a certain age or in a certain career. Without knowing anything about the character of Jane I had already prejudged her simply for being an attractive blonde wearing skimpy outfits. Luckily the film showed a huge amount of depth to her character.
Surprising, funny, beautiful, and moving Starlet is a real treat and proves that there is more to people than first meets the eye.
Starlet screens again on 16th October at 9.00 pm and tickets are still on sale. Go on, surprise yourself.