This atmospheric indie opens with a mystery: who is the pleasant Jane (Dree Hemingway) and why is this leggy beauty renting a room in the San Fernando Valley from a fractious, idiotic couple who spend their days getting high and playing videogames? Trying to make her room homey, Jane spends a weekend trolling the sun-bleached San Fernando Valley for yard sales. Among the tacky treasures she brings home: a $3 thermos purchased from a crotchety old lady named Sadie (newcomer Besedka Johnson), which Jane thinks would make a nice vase. Only it’s filled with rolls of crisp $100 bills. Does she return it? Or make restitution by offering herself up as prickly Sadie’s personal assistant? Director Sean Baker and his co-writer Chris Bergoch play coy with Jane’s profession, but it doesn’t take long to sort out what kind of starlet the magnetic naif is. A perfectly pitched and deeply touching story of an odd and unexpected kinship, the dreamy Starlet finally cured me of the psychic wounds left by Star 80, Bob Fosse’s 1983 film starring Dree Hemingway’s mother, Mariel.
Next Oslo, August 31