09starlet_span-thumbstandard Jane, a 21-year-old slacker, finds $10,000 stashed in a thermos she buys at a garage sale. Unsure what to do with the money, she begins spending time with Sadie, the elderly widow who held the garage sale. Note: this film contains explicit content.
HD Available
Netflix Rating: 3.2
NYT Critics' Pick
Two women, decades apart in age but bonded by their relative invisibility, connect in Sean Baker’s “Starlet." Read the review
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 88%
Critics' score: 88   Audience score: 71   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

Baker effectively juxtaposes two vastly different worlds, though he never makes the case that either is as significant as the gauzy visuals suggest. full review

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News

This is confident, engrossing storytelling, and the actors are terrific. full review

Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader

Starlet sneaks up on you. full review

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

Where it counts, "Starlet" ... allows its characters room to maneuver within the potential cliches. full review

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

The film itself deserves praise for its portraits of these two women and the different worlds they inhabit. full review

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

The plotline is unpromising - young porn actress befriends crotchety old lady - and the setup is underwhelming. But stick with "Starlet," and you'll reap unexpected rewards. full review

Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle

The film is about as indie as indie movies get, with a homemade, washed-out look that drives home the genuineness of the performances. full review

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

This slender film is bolstered by strong performances, particularly from Hemingway (daughter of Mariel) and her 85-year-old co-star. full review

Rafer Guzman, Newsday

A strikingly unsentimental study in female friendship between unmoored souls in L.A.'s bleached, glamour-challenged San Fernando Valley. full review

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

"Starlet" is like a flower growing out of a septic tank. full review

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post

As its title suggests, "Starlet" is a Hollywood story, albeit one that Hollywood would not be likely to produce. full review

J. Hoberman,

You may have never heard of Sean Baker, but he's one of the most astute and least sentimental chroniclers of life on the fringes working in film today. full review

Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

[An] ethereal slice of life in the San Fernando Valley ... full review

Sara Stewart, New York Post

A thrillingly, unexpectedly good American movie about love and a moral awakening ... full review

Manohla Dargis, New York Times

It's a character study about faith in connectedness, with an unforced love for cross-generational companionship that's special indeed. full review

Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

Starlet represents a welcome throwback to the smoggy West Coast character studies of the 1970s - and not just because the generational chasm between its two leads evokes Harold and Maude. full review

An empathic, absorbing tale of the old and the beautiful, Starlet tracks an unlikely intergenerational friendship in the San Fernando Valley. full review

Melissa Anderson, Village Voice

Unfortunately, the film signals its more serious aspirations aggressively, via "thoughtful" synth drones and an italicized parental subtext. full review

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York

Powerful sense of place roots film about the uneasy friendship between a 21 year old and an octogenarian. full review

John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter

[A] brittle, beautifully understated San Fernando Valley character study. full review

Peter Debruge, Variety
Similars Available on Instant
  • Release Year: 2012
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Runtime: 103 min
  • Available From: Jul 07, 2013
  • Queued by: 1642 people
Directed By
Sean Baker
Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson, James Ransone, Stella Maeve, Liz Beebe, Tess Hunt

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