Starlet is one of the gems in this year’s South by Southwest film festival. It is a comedy that stars Dree Hemingway, great-granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway and daughter of Mariel Hemingway. This gives her the photogenic genes.
y Sean Baker. Dree plays Jane, a newcomer to Los Angeles from Florida. She dreams of making it big in Hollywood but she has several undefined plans. In order to pay her share of the rent, she enters the adult film industry. This is just temporary for her but she doesn’t know until when.
During a year sale, Jane picks up an old thermos. The widow Sadie (Besedka Johnson) doesn’t know that her late husband used the thermos to store $10,000. After finding the money, Jane tries to return the money to Sadie but she refuses it. Because of this incident, Jane tries to get to know Sadie better and this is the heart of the beautifully executed indie flick.
Starlet is a weird movie. The foray into the porn industry is detailed and explicit. The odd friendship that guides the plot is familiar for most people. Starlet is the name of Jane’s dog. The characters have room to move within the potential clichés.
More than anything else, Starlet is a showcase for Hemingway. Audiences are left guessing as to what her motives are. You wouldn’t know what her relative and moral intelligence are about. Johnson serves as her oppositional force.
Starlet shows Jane visiting Sadie and doing errands for the older lady. Jane takes her to bingo games and her late husband’s grave site. The movie is predictable but once it reaches the end, you’ll be happy to have met Jane and Sadie.
Starlet is not rated but it contains scenes of explicit sex and some crude language. Its running time is 104 minutes.