Cinema A La Carte Podcast – Episode 003 – STARLET (2012)
Let’s say you went to a yard sale and purchased a thermos. And when you got home you found $10,000 inside. Would you return it? Would you keep it? That’s the hook to the 2012 drama film STARLET written, produced, and directed by award winning filmmaker Sean Baker. Yet, this plot device is just the spark of a much bigger story in such a small, little film.
Jane (Dree Hemingway), a beautiful valley girl, rents a room from her friend Melissa (Stella Maeve) and her boyfriend Mikey (James Ransone). Deciding to redecorate, she goes to various yard sales and buys a thermos that was holding a lot of money. Not sure what to do, she decides to befriend Sadie (Besedka Johnson), the octogenarian who sold her the item. As the two begin to become friendly, they both fight their own personal demons as they try to build a better life.
STARLET received fantastic reviews and continued to build the resume of Sean Baker as one of today’s great talents. Dree Hemingway’s lead performance was a role that in another time would have brought her superstardom. And the heartwarming story of Besedka Johnson making her film debut after having given up acting as a young woman itself is a story in itself. A strong depiction of the dignity and humanity of all people, no matter what profession they do, STARLET is a touching drama that should not be overlooked. Your podcast co-hosts give their thoughts on this indy film gem.