Another title from the Festival Favourites after it screened successfully at Sundance earlier this year, I was lucky to see a well attended screening of THE STARLING GIRL at the Zach Theatre earlier this week with the director in attendance.
ABOUT: 17-year-old Jem Starling struggles with her place within her Christian fundamentalist community, but everything changes when she finds herself drawn to her magnetic youth pastor Owen.
JASON’S REACTION: An awesome lead role for talented actress Eliza Scanlen (LITTLE WOMEN, SHARP OBJECTS, she plays a 17 year old Christian girl named Jem Starling who falls for a much older married man and all of the family strife that is causes. Throughout the entire movie we really stay close to Jem and all of her conflicting feelings, budding sexuality and using God as a way to make this all seem okay, as if this is all part of his plan. There are great moments of intimacy between the two leads along with some pretty realistic scenes between Scanlon and her family and the community, some of which were really hard to watch. During the Q&A it was somewhat noticeable filmmaker Laurel Parmet isn’t a person of faith but still wanted to shine a light on these people and this part of the world, but Scanlan absolutely makes this worth recommending. This is a release from Bleeker Street which is a very high quality production company with a lot of great releases, and I am sure this will find a decent audience once it’s released.
This film and many others like it will be showing at South By Southwest taking place March 10-19. For more information point your browser to www.sxsw.com!