...has a sunny SoCal vibe that belies its tawdry milieu
| Original Score: 88/100
Their friendship goes nowhere you might expect - Sadie doesn't teach Jane any hard-won life lessons, and Jane doesn't try to rekindle Sadie's lost youth. There are no montages here.
| Original Score: 3/4
Either avoids or transcends nearly every cliché we've come to associate with American independent film.
| Original Score: B+
No amount of strong acting, however, can entirely compensate for the dramatic conveniences or every shrill appearance by Jane's cartoonishly despicable roommates.
| Original Score: 2/5
Baker effectively juxtaposes two vastly different worlds, though he never makes the case that either is as significant as the gauzy visuals suggest.
"Starlet" is achingly sad, shrewdly funny, and shockingly honest.
| Original Score: 4/5
When the film has to get into more depth regarding its characters futures and pasts, it falters a bit but there's still a lot to like here.
| Original Score: 3.5/5.0
This is confident, engrossing storytelling, and the actors are terrific.
Starlet sneaks up on you.
Hemingway's very good at taking a girl who often seems like an insufferable L.A. stereotype and shading a range of values and feelings that exist somewhere in those thigh-high socks.
Where it counts, "Starlet" ... allows its characters room to maneuver within the potential cliches.
The film itself deserves praise for its portraits of these two women and the different worlds they inhabit.
Sean Baker's Starlet almost miraculously transcends this story's cornball trappings, with a minor-key muted humanism and bruised emotions roiling just beneath the surface. It's a hushed marvel of a movie.
...consistently surprising in the way it mingles tender emotions with inherent tawdriness, casually incorporating graphic sex scenes with touching moments of innocent human interaction.
| Original Score: A-
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.
The film is about as indie as indie movies get, with a homemade, washed-out look that drives home the genuineness of the performances.
Sean Baker's amiably oblique Starlet finds fresh ways to tell a familiar story.
This slender film is bolstered by strong performances, particularly from Hemingway (daughter of Mariel) and her 85-year-old co-star.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Convincing performances from Hemingway and the charmingly crabby Johnson and an unhurried pace ensure that Baker's film achieves its modest goals.
| Original Score: B
A pair of powerful lead performances by big-screen newcomers boost this unassuming low-budget character study.