Starlet

Starlet

About the Film

Starlet explores the unlikely friendship between 21 year-old aspiring actress Jane (Dree Hemingway) and elderly widow Sadie (Besedka Johnson) after their worlds collide in California's San Fernando Valley.  Jane spends her time getting high with her dysfunctional roommates and taking care of her chihuahua Starlet, while Sadie passes her days alone, tending to her garden.  After a confrontation at a yard sale, Jane finds something unexpected in a relic from Sadie's past. Her curiosity piqued, she tries to befriend the caustic older woman. Secrets emerge as their relationship grows, revealing that nothing is ever as it seems.

Director Sean Baker continues in the naturalistic style of his previous films, the Spirit Award nominated Prince of Broadway and Take Out, capturing the rhythms of everyday life with a rare authenticity. Featuring exceptional debut performances by Dree Hemingway (great granddaughter of Ernest and daughter of Mariel) and 85 year-old Besedka Johnson, who received a Special Jury Recognition at SxSW, Starlet is at once provocative, haunting, unpredictable, and surprisingly sweet.
Starring: Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson, Stella Maeve. James Ransone, Karren Karagulian
Director: Sean Baker
Release Date: 11/09/12

Reactions

"What stays with you is that there's a genuineness and complexity of their connection." - Walter Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle

"It's a hushed marvel of a movie." - Sean Burns, Philadelpiha Weekly

Critic’s Pick! “A thrillingly, unexpectedly good American movie." - Manohla Dargis, New York Times

"One of the year's most arresting, heartfelt indies." - Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

"An emphatic, absorbing tale of the old and the beautiful." - Melissa Anderson, Village Voice

"STARLET represents a welcome throwback to the smoggy West Coast character studies of the 1970s." - Scott Tobias, NPR

"STARLET is refreshingly unsentimental in its depiction of both youth and age." - Nathan Rabin, AV Club

"A poetic meditation on loneliness and friendship." - Dennis Lim, New York Times

“Dree Hemingway gives a performance of flaky charm, and tender sensitivity.” - Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times

“Besedka Johnson is equal parts heartbreaking, lovely and inspiring.” - Katie Walsh, The Playlist on Indiewire

Awards & Festivals

  • Film Independent Spirit Awards 2013 - John Cassavetes Award Nominee
  • Film Independent Spirit Awards 2013 - Robert Altman Award Recipient
  • Winner! Locarno International Film Festival 2012 - First Prize Junior Jury
  • Locarno International Film Festival 2012 Golden Leopard Award Nominee - Sean Baker
  • Winner! Hamptons International Film Festival 2011 - Breakthrough Performer, Dree Hemingway
  • Winner! Reykjavik International Film Festival 2011 - Fipresci Critics' Award 
  • Winner! SXSW Film Festival 2011 - Special Jury Prize

 

Cast & Crew

Cast

Jane: Dree Hemingway
Starlet: Boonee
Melissa: Stella Maeve
Sadie: Besedka Johnson
Mikey: James Ransone
Arash: Karren Karagulian

Crew

Director: Sean Baker
Editor: Sean Baker 
Writers: Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch
Producers: Blake Ashman-Kipervaser, Kevin Chinoy, Francesca Silvestri, Patrick Cunningham, Chris Maybach
Director of Photography: Radium Cheung

Technical Info

Production Year: 2012
Release Date: 11/09/12
Countries of Production: US
Languages: English
Running Time: 1h 43m
Screen Ratio: 2.35:1
Sound: Dolby
Rating: Unrated

News & Press

Press For Starlet

"What stays with you is that there's a genuineness and complexity of their connection." - Walter Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle

"It's a hushed marvel of a movie." - Sean Burns, Philadelpiha Weekly

"A beautifully directed tale of human connection that lingers long after its closing credits." - Filmmaker Magazine

"Dree Hemingway gives a performance of flaky charm and tender sensitivy." - Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times 

"Besedka Johnson is equal parts heartbreaking, lovely and inspiring." - Katie Walsh, IndieWIRE

Critic’s Pick! “A thrillingly, unexpectedly good American movie." - Manohla Dargis, New York Times

"One of the year's most arresting, heartfelt indies." - Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

"An emphatic, absorbing tale of the old and the beautiful." - Melissa Anderson, Village Voice

"STARLET represents a welcome throwback to the smoggy West Coast character studies of the 1970s." - Scott Tobias, NPR

"STARLET is refreshingly unsentimental in its depiction of both youth and age." - Nathan Rabin, AV Club

"A poetic meditation on loneliness and friendship." - Dennis Lim, New York Times

From the Starlet Blog

‘STARLET’ receives Robert Altman Award at Indie Spirit Awards [2/25/2013]

Music Box Films Releases Honored with 7 Independent Spirit Award Nominations [11/28/2012]

Dree Hemingway is true ‘Starlet’ on Vogue’s Best Dressed List [11/16/2012]

‘Starlet’ now playing in LA and NYC with Q&As all weekend [11/09/12]

Dree Hemingway opens up to Indiewire about modeling and ‘Starlet’ [11/09/12]

‘Starlet’ director Sean Baker shares 5 favorite films with Rotten Tomatoes [11/08/12]

BUST Magazine praises a 4/5 score for STARLET [11/05/12]

STARLET trailer gets commentary by director Sean Baker [11/04/12]

Music Box Films Picks Up Rights to SXSW 2012 Drama ‘Starlet’ [5/24/12]

Theaters

New York
New York
11/9/12
Pasadena
California
11/9/12
Irvine
California
11/9/12
Encino
California
11/9/12
New York
New York
11/9/12
Los Angeles
California
11/9/12
Lancaster
California
11/16/12
Palm Springs
California
11/16/12
Washington D.C.
District of Columbia
11/16/12
Binghamton
New York
11/16/12
Bend
Oregon
11/23/12
Portland
Oregon
11/23/12
Coral Gables
Florida
11/30/12
Boca Raton
Florida
11/30/12
San Jose
California
11/30/12
San Francisco
California
11/30/12
Scottsdale
Arizona
11/30/12
Berkeley
California
11/30/12
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
12/7/12
Little Rock
Arkansas
12/7/12
Detroit
Michigan
12/7/12
Denver
Colorado
12/7/12
San Diego
California
12/7/12
Chicago
Illinois
12/7/12
Charlottesville
Virginia
12/14/12
Albuquerque
New Mexico
12/21/12
Santa Fe
New Mexico
12/28/12
Lincoln
Nebraska
1/4/13
Providence
Rhode Island
1/4/13
Salem
Massachusetts
1/11/13
Columbus
Ohio
1/19/13
Saratoga Springs
New York
1/24/13
Bradenton
Florida
1/25/13
Pelham
New York
1/25/13
Chicago
Illinois
2/6/13
Winston Salem
North Carolina
2/11/13
Williamsburg
Virginia
2/18/13

Starlet - Press Page

Hi Res Photos
For single image download (Open and Right-click to save to desktop)
Starlet - 2
Starlet - 3
Starlet - 4
Starlet - 1
Starlet - 5

Awards & Festivals

  • Film Independent Spirit Awards 2013 - John Cassavetes Award Nominee
  • Film Independent Spirit Awards 2013 - Robert Altman Award Recipient
  • Winner! Locarno International Film Festival 2012 - First Prize Junior Jury
  • Locarno International Film Festival 2012 Golden Leopard Award Nominee - Sean Baker
  • Winner! Hamptons International Film Festival 2011 - Breakthrough Performer, Dree Hemingway
  • Winner! Reykjavik International Film Festival 2011 - Fipresci Critics' Award 
  • Winner! SXSW Film Festival 2011 - Special Jury Prize

 

Reactions

"What stays with you is that there's a genuineness and complexity of their connection." - Walter Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle

"It's a hushed marvel of a movie." - Sean Burns, Philadelpiha Weekly

Critic’s Pick! “A thrillingly, unexpectedly good American movie." - Manohla Dargis, New York Times

"One of the year's most arresting, heartfelt indies." - Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

"An emphatic, absorbing tale of the old and the beautiful." - Melissa Anderson, Village Voice

"STARLET represents a welcome throwback to the smoggy West Coast character studies of the 1970s." - Scott Tobias, NPR

"STARLET is refreshingly unsentimental in its depiction of both youth and age." - Nathan Rabin, AV Club

"A poetic meditation on loneliness and friendship." - Dennis Lim, New York Times

“Dree Hemingway gives a performance of flaky charm, and tender sensitivity.” - Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times

“Besedka Johnson is equal parts heartbreaking, lovely and inspiring.” - Katie Walsh, The Playlist on Indiewire

Detailed Film Info

Starlet explores the unlikely friendship between 21 year-old aspiring actress Jane (Dree Hemingway) and elderly widow Sadie (Besedka Johnson) after their worlds collide in California's San Fernando Valley.  Jane spends her time getting high with her dysfunctional roommates and taking care of her chihuahua Starlet, while Sadie passes her days alone, tending to her garden.  After a confrontation at a yard sale, Jane finds something unexpected in a relic from Sadie's past. Her curiosity piqued, she tries to befriend the caustic older woman. Secrets emerge as their relationship grows, revealing that nothing is ever as it seems.

Director Sean Baker continues in the naturalistic style of his previous films, the Spirit Award nominated Prince of Broadway and Take Out, capturing the rhythms of everyday life with a rare authenticity. Featuring exceptional debut performances by Dree Hemingway (great granddaughter of Ernest and daughter of Mariel) and 85 year-old Besedka Johnson, who received a Special Jury Recognition at SxSW, Starlet is at once provocative, haunting, unpredictable, and surprisingly sweet.

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