The Starling Girl
CAST: Eliza Scanlen, Lewis Pullman, Jimmi Simpson DIRECTOR: Laurel Parmet
Seventeen-year-old Jem Starling struggles to define her place within her fundamentalist Christian community in rural Kentucky. Even her greatest joy of dancing with the church group is tempered by worry that her actions are sinful and she is caught between a burgeoning awareness of her own sexuality and her religious devotion. With the return of Owen, an enigmatic youth pastor, Jem soon finds herself attracted to his worldliness and charm. Slowly, he draws her into a dangerous relationship that could upend their entire community.
A tender tale, "The Starling Girl" twirls through a spate of cliches... but sticks the landing thanks to Parmet's rapt attention to the shifting desires of her central character.Natalia Winkelman, New York Times
The film is an impressively complicated and compassionate drama about shame and desire.Ross McIndoe, Slant Magazine