It does not prove to be an ultimately rewarding experience.
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
Unfortunately, the film signals its more serious aspirations aggressively, via "thoughtful" synth drones and an italicized parental subtext.
| Original Score: 3/5
"Starlet" is like a flower growing out of a septic tank.
| Original Score: 2/4
Baker effectively juxtaposes two vastly different worlds, though he never makes the case that either is as significant as the gauzy visuals suggest.
Though the plot of Starlet may sound formulaic, the film is handled with a level of care and understatement that elevates it.
| Original Score: 7.5/10
Either avoids or transcends nearly every cliché we've come to associate with American independent film.
| Original Score: B+
This is confident, engrossing storytelling, and the actors are terrific.
...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-
...has a sunny SoCal vibe that belies its tawdry milieu
| Original Score: 88/100
The film itself deserves praise for its portraits of these two women and the different worlds they inhabit.
| Original Score: 3/4
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.
Where it counts, "Starlet" ... allows its characters room to maneuver within the potential cliches.
Sean Baker's amiably oblique Starlet finds fresh ways to tell a familiar story.
Hemingway gives her naïf substance and Johnson turns her crone into a caring mother-figure. . .in surprising ways so their winning poignancy makes up for the fanciful [end].
| Original Score: 7/10
The film works as a charming aesthetic exercise with its jerky camera and inadvertent cuts, as a contemplation on intergenerational female bonding.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
A smart, sweet, haunting experience.
A thrillingly, unexpectedly good American movie about love and a moral awakening ...
| Original Score: 4/5
"Starlet" is a transparent bellwether of American society. Innocence is a shattered illusion, and emotions are a useless devotion. All youth is wasted.
| Original Score: B
[An] ethereal slice of life in the San Fernando Valley ...