London Film Festival 2012 – day nine: Starlet
Vacuous and immature, Jane lives a slacker, stoner kind of existence in downtown California with another young couple. At first it is unclear what Jane does for a living – she seems to fit into the model/actress/whatever category, but we later find out it is definitely the whatever.
Jane picks up an old flask at a yard sale, and upon finding rolls of cash stuffed into it, goes on a little spending spree, getting her nails done and splashing out on a fancy lead for her beloved dog, Starlet.
Wanting to return the flask to Sadie, the independent old lady who sold it to her, Jane starts hanging around in her world, in the supermarket, at bingo, almost stalking her. An unlikely friendship develops, but Jane still keeps the cash.
Straightforward and rather innocent, we see deeper into Jane’s world, and the empty banality of pornography, where she is a starlet of sorts.
Beyond seedy, the downbeat industry seems to attract women who are infantilised in their emotional development and understanding. It probably takes a lot of intelligence to play such a two dimensional character – Dree Hemingway as Jane is sweet, endearing and pitiful. Stella Maeve as Jane’s petulant friend Melissa is uncomfortably good as a nasty little piece of work.
By the end we discover that there may be more reason for Jane and Sadie to feel a genuine bond.
Starlet is worth watching, but the deliberately shallow and casual feel makes the film seem several hours long.
Read more reviews from the 56th London Film Festival here.
Watch the trailer for Starlet here: