The Starling Girl

2023

Action / Drama

12
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 92% · 89 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 97% · 500 ratings
IMDb Rating 6.7/10 10 2485 2.5K

Director

Top cast

Lewis Pullman as Owen Taylor
Jimmi Simpson as Paul Starling
Wrenn Schmidt as Heidi Starling
Eliza Scanlen as Jem Starling
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB 1080p.WEB.x265 2160p.WEB.x265
1.05 GB
1280*692
English 2.0
R
Subtitles us  es  
23.976 fps
1 hr 56 min
Seeds 9
2.15 GB
1918*1036
English 5.1
R
Subtitles us  es  
23.976 fps
1 hr 56 min
Seeds 9
1.95 GB
1918*1036
English 5.1
R
Subtitles us  es  
23.976 fps
1 hr 56 min
Seeds 6
5.21 GB
3836*2072
English 5.1
R
Subtitles us  es  
23.976 fps
1 hr 56 min
Seeds 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by masonfisk 8 / 10

HEAP PRAISES UPON SCANLEN...!

From earlier this year comes this account of a fundamentalist girl's, played by Little Women's Eliza Scanlen, struggle to maintain her faith. Opening up on a dance performance in front of their congregation, Scanlen's immediately reprimanded for having her bra showing through her dance top. We then go into her family life where her brethren are many & her parents, For All Mankind Wren Schmidt & Jimmi Simpson, rule the roost w/iron fists. Into this dynamic comes a new visitor in the form of the pastor's, Homicide's Kyle Secor, son, Lewis Pullman, which raises Scanlen's ardor even though he's already married & his wife is pregnant. Simpson, who used to be in a 'regular' band, falls off the wagon due to his own pressures which when the reveal comes about Pullman & Scanlen's clutch prompts the parents to force her to quit the dance troupe which puts the couple in panic mode (Pullman declares his separation from his wife) & running off happily into the sunset or will they? Writer/director Laurel Parmet captures a potent tale of the flyover states where maybe the standard trajectory of one's community may not be for all w/Scanlen, who continues to impress in her performances (check her out in the HBO limited series Sharp Objects), who carries the weight of the narrative on her ample shoulders abetted by strong support from the other players.

Reviewed by darkreignn 8 / 10

A great coming of age film

Good coming of age movies leave you feeling hopeful for the future of the characters that inhabit the world of the film; great coming of age films have the confidence to leave its audience conflicted - perhaps things will work out well, but perhaps not, and only time will tell. "The Starling Girl" is a great coming of age story that manages to be heartwarming while simultaneously leaving viewers feeling slightly apprehensive as to what will happen to its characters going forward.

Starring Eliza Scanlen as Jem Starling, "The Starling Girl" follows Jem as she traverses a sort of hazardous upbringing; you see, Jem lives in present day Kentucky, but as her parents are fundamentalist Christians, you'd be forgiven for thinking the movie takes place in the 1970s, at least at first. Jem is allowed no cell phones, no computers, and, no freedom. For all intents and purposes, her life revolves around her church and her faith. And besides little annoyances or two from overzealous church members, Jem doesn't seem to mind this lifestyle. That is, until Owen Taylor, played by Lewis Pullman, comes into the picture. The newest youth pastor, Jem quickly finds herself having a small crush on Own that develops into a full-fledged romance - this is particularly troublesome, given that Own is a married man. From here on out, "The Starling Girl" follows Jem as she navigates the treacherous waters of adultery, abusive parents, and the fight for newfound freedom from fundamentalist Christianity.

"The Starling Girl" was right up my alley, as I have an affinity for both coming of age movies and depictions - both positive and negative - of faith in film. Admittedly, it is easy to nitpick movies that perhaps don't cast the best light on Christianity; however, I feel as if "The Starling Girl" was fair in its presentation - not every member of Jem's church seemed to be as strict as her parents (or to be more accurate, her mother). However, because Jem's parents are so strict, the film is absolutely riveting as Jem tries to juggle her faith with her romantic feelings toward Owen. It's a really intense build up as they both slowly fall for each other, and by the time they share their first kiss? Oh boy - "The Starling Girl" just gets even more gut-wrenching from their on out.

It's hard for a coming of age drama to have me gripping my seat as much as an action movie would, but "The Starling Girl" is absolutely white knuckle. As Jem and Own fall deeper into the rabbit hole of lustful thoughts and actions, things start to spiral out of control through a series of events that had me literally holding my breath at points. I'm telling you, not since "Whiplash" has a drama effected me this much. And the performances only add to this effect, as everyone in this movie is pitch-perfect, portraying an entire range of human emotions as relatabley and effortlessly as possible.

My only complain, as I mentioned in my opening paragraph, is that the ending isn't as clear cut as I'd have hoped. Things may work out well for Jem, but they very well may not. That said, I completely understand what they were going for, and the apprehension I feel is completely within the realm of reality; nothing in this movie feels like a fantasy - it all feels real, including the ending. And ultimately, I loved this movie. "The Starling Girl" is one of the best movies I've watched in 2024 so far, and I am actively looking forward to watching it again.

Reviewed by trinaboice 7 / 10

The Starling Girl movie review

IN A NUTSHELL:

A 17-year-old girl struggles with her place in the world and in her Christian fundamentalist community. When a young pastor returns to her church, new challenges of faith emerge.

The film was directed and written by Laurel Parmet. She has already won the "Directors to Watch" award. The movie was also nominated for the "Grand Jury Prize" at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and the "Audience Award" at the SXSW Film Festival.

THINGS I LIKED:

Eliza Scanlen does a fantastic job as the lead. Everyone in the cast crushed it. The cast includes Lewis Pullman, Jimmi Simpson, Wrenn Schmidt, Claire Elizabeth Green, and Ellie May.

The dialogue is sensitive and often insightful, but the quiet moments are powerful too.

The movie takes place in Kentucky. My nephew just moved there!

Beautiful cinematography by Brian Lannin.

Great camerawork and editing by Sam Levy.

Lovely musical score by Ben Schneider.

The film does a good job of painting a picture of life in a small, religious community.

THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE:

I didn't like any of the characters and couldn't relate to any of them.

What's so sinful about chewing gum? Why did the pastor make such a big deal out of that?

I've never understood a woman who could be with a married man.

Some scenes are very dark which will make it difficult to see what's happening if you watch this on a small streaming device.

Some viewers won't like the ambiguous ending.

It was interesting to watch the girls dance as a form of worship. Not very many Christian churches do that.

TIPS FOR PARENTS:

Kids will be extremely bored.

We see unmarried people have sex. It's dark, so we don't see skin, just facial expressions and hear sounds.

We hear someone throw up.

We see someone in a hospital bed.

To see my full review, check my YouTube channel called Movie Review Mom.

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