Movie Assessment The Starling Magazine – Ratingperson


Iwant to like “The Starling.” I truly do. But it’s now not making it easy for me.

It’s a film piled excessive with sentimentality, overtopped with cloying emotion, like a nacho platter with limitless toppings and no seen chips. Yet it is also a movie that recognizes and respects the problems of mental health and grief; where maximum films approximately such topics treat intellectual contamination like another narrative impediment, “The Starling” recognizes how deep and difficult such subjects are.

That makes me need to adore it. I also like the earnest solid, led by way of Melissa McCarthy with Kevin Kline and Chris O’Dowd; the three likable stars provide a trio of tearjerking performances.

On the alternative hand, the significant man or woman is an unconvincing CGI hen — an harmless virtual avian supposed to face in for a half-dozen metaphors.

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That titular bird makes it very, very tough to like t his film.

McCarthy and Kline play grieving couple Lilly and Jack Maynard. Their infant died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome a 12 months prior; Lilly is barely hanging on to her job at a grocery store while Jack is staying at a mental-health facility. Group classes make it clean that nor is making any progress, so Lilly is directed to a therapist, Larry (Kline).

There’s been a mixture-up; Larry switched careers and became a veterinarian years ago. (Nominally, this movie is a comedy — I think.) Still, he enables Lilly, under the guise of supporting her with a chook hassle: a territorial starling is stopping her from fixing up her lawn, one of the film’s extensive visual representations of inner/external struggle.

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In gripping scenes of tentative honesty — Lilly slowly confessing her anger to Larry, Jack acknowledging his lack of wish to his doctors — “The Starling” is the film it wants to be, an sincere, gallows-humor look at despair and loss. Writer Matt Harris (who’s typically an government manufacturer on pseudo-reality shows inclusive of “Ridiculousness,” of all things), is aware of what he’s trying to mention, and there’s price in it.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the restraint to say anything with subtlety or grace, instead underlining and restating his arguments at any given point. In one in particular grim second, Larry explains exactly how the identify chook serves as a metaphor for Lilly’s damaged own family.

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Really: Poor Kevin Kline, who we actually need to see more frequently and in higher instances, is pressured to patiently give an explanation for the point of the film.

Lilly tries to reduce the blatant moment: “Real diffused stuff, Larry.” This acknowledgement does now not help.

So: Does it simply slightly feature, or does “The Starling” fall apart beneath the weight of its personal heavy hand? It’s right on the line for me.


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