Jane is a 21 year-old girl living in Los Angeles. Her life is rather aimless, as she spends most of her time getting high and going clubbing with her two dysfunctional roommates, Melissa and Mikey. After purchasing some items from a yard sale, Jane discovers a hidden stash of cash in one of the items. Jane realizes that this cash clearly belongs to the owner of the yard sale item, Sadie an 85 year-old woman, but ultimately decides to keep the money for herself. Sean Baker's Starlet is a film which explores the unlikely friendship between Jane and Sadie, two individuals whose lives would almost never collide. The film does a fantastic job of having the story unfold naturally - revealing secrets about these two woman along the way. It's done in a way very similar to if we ourselves had just met Sadie or Jane, and the way the film reveals how Jane makes her primary sense of income is perfectly executed. Jane is a character whose initial guilt is what drives her to form a relationship with Sadie but the film really does a great job at showing the slow change in the character of Jane, who begins to really care for Sadie beyond mere guilt. Both of the characters of Jane and Sadie have problems and Starlet captures how they both provide emotional support to each other. The ending is really a fitting conclusion, showing how the money was never really that important but what Jane was able to give Sadie in terms of a human connection, is way more valuable. While the whole story of Starlet may sound a bit formulaic, it's is told is such a naturalistic way with strong understated performances, making the film a touching and memorable experience.
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