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Starlet 2012

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4.2 out of 5 stars (9) IMDb 6.8/10
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Starlet explores the unlikely friendship between a 21-year-old aspiring actress Jane (Dree Hemingway) and elderly widow Sadie (Besedka Johnson) after their worlds collide in California's San Fernando Valley. Jane spends her time getting high with her dysfunctional roommates and taking care of her chihuahua Starlet, while Sadie passes her days alone, tending to her garden. After a confrontation at a yard sale, Jane finds something unexpected in a relic from Sadie's past. Her curiosity piqued, she tries to befriend the caustic older woman. Secrets emerge as their relationship grows, revealing that nothing is ever as it seems.

Starring:
Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 39 minutes
Starring Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson, Boonee
Director Sean Baker
Genres Drama
Studio Elevation Sales
Rental release 10 March 2014
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I loved this film. It isn’t immediately apparent that this film will ‘get you’, will hook into you. But during the days following watching it the characters, scenes, bits and pieces keep coming back. To me, this is the sign of a good film. It is able to set its seed.

Set in the San Fernando Valley, the wrong side of the Hollywood Hills from L.A., with everything that goes on there, this is a brilliant Indie flick.

It is acutely visually aware, with interesting camera angles and colouration reminiscent of 1970’s colour snaps.

The dialogue appears understated, perhaps a product of my English (lack of) understanding of the nuances of the west coast American language, but also it seems that a lot of the communication between the characters is not said in words, and in some ways for them this is a saving grace. It avoids confrontation, for the iteration simply is not there. Accordingly they find their ways around one another, around issues, and life goes on; for instance because of unspoken communication between the characters there is room for money to be gained and shared in unconventional ways, along with other resource.

It reminded me of many French films, where the action is slow, and half way through you wonder where it is going, or even why you are watching. For many people this creates a sense of ennui which prevents them from engaging with the film. But if you can breeze on through, let the medium work on you, you find that there is more to the film than at first meets the eye.

Most of the reviews hang on the two main characters. You could say that Dree Hemingway does not come over as an obvious actor. And for some they see this as a sense of weakness.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A quirky indy rather odd easy to watch . Its about truth and friendship and shows an interesting take on how a young woman who acts in porn actually lives in real life. Yes there is graphic sex but as its about being in the porn industry this only adds to the strength of the story . Dree Hemmingway [ yes she is a real Hemmingway] looks stunning and the late Besedka Johson [ who isn't even an actor] captivates allowing this film not to stumble into sentimentality. So its a cross between the warmth of say Sideways with a little behind the scenes at Belladonnas house.
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By Tommy Dooley TOP 100 REVIEWER on 12 July 2014
Format: DVD
This is one of those films that is absolutely unassuming and yet totally engrossing. It stars Dree Hemmingway as Jane a 21 year old worker in the `adult entertainment industry'. She buys a Thermos in a yard sale one day and on getting it home finds that it is stuffed with cash. She tries to take it back to the cantankerous old woman, whom she bought it from, but is rebutted.

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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
From story to acting to direction and camera work. This was a real out of the blue gem.
(Melissa being probably the most obnoxious character ever on screen).

Roll on Sean Baker! A talent to watch out for.
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Format: DVD
this film was amazing so calm, and wasnt that intense didnt seem like there was much going on yet you were hooked, you couldnt and didnt want to look away. the performances were outstanding and from a woman who has never acted in her life aswell (besedka jones). it was just outstanding. i would reccomend this for anyone that just really wants to watch a casual film with a beautiful story behind it.
honestly just check it out (watch on netflix if unsure) then buy the dvd.
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