Friday, September 17, 2021

The Starling Review: A Family Drama That Doesn't Soar Like Its Namesake

Melissa McCarthy	...	Lilly Maynard Timothy Olyphant	Timothy Olyphant	...	Travis Delp Skyler Gisondo	Skyler Gisondo		 Chris O'Dowd	Chris O'Dowd	...	Jack Maynard Elisabeth Röhm	Elisabeth Röhm	...	Nancy Rothwelder Kevin Kline	Kevin Kline	...	Larry Laura Harrier	Laura Harrier		 Veronica Falcón	Veronica Falcón	...	Rosario Alvarez Daveed Diggs	Daveed Diggs		 Loretta Devine	Loretta Devine		 Rosalind Chao	Rosalind Chao		 Scott MacArthur	Scott MacArthur	...	Ralph Emily Tremaine	Emily Tremaine	...	Alice Jimmy O. Yang	Jimmy O. Yang		 Cynthy Wu	Cynthy Wu	...	Receptionist Jill Ravi Kapoor	Ravi Kapoor	...	Dr. Manmohan Tom Everett	Tom Everett	...	Reverend Olson Jenica Bergere	Jenica Bergere	...	Pastor Veronica

Release date: September 17, 2021
Running time: 110 minutes
Directed By: Theodore Melfi
Written By: Matthew Harris
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Chris O'Dowd, Kevin Kline, Timothy Olyphant, Daveed Diggs, Skyler Gisondo

After Lilly (Melissa McCarthy) suffers a loss, a battle with a territorial bird (The Starling) over dominion of her garden provides an unlikely avenue for her grief and the courage to heal her relationships and rediscover her capacity for love.

Jenica Bergere	...	Pastor Veronica Kimberly Quinn	Kimberly Quinn		 Owen Atlas	Owen Atlas	...	Howie Gustavo Gomez	Gustavo Gomez	...	Sam Lauri Johnson	Lauri Johnson		 Dickson Obahor	Dickson Obahor	...	Hank Amje Elharden	Amje Elharden	...	Psychic technician Nancy De Mayo	Nancy De Mayo	...	Facilitator Hannah Brock Brenner	Brock Brenner	...	Dillon Jeanne Carr	Jeanne Carr	...	Sarah Stefanie Barbato	Stefanie Barbato		 Michael Eshaun York	Michael Eshaun York	...	Sling Shot Kid
The Starling is headlined by an amazing cast.  Seriously, the film has some of my favorite actors in a movie that I should have loved.  They get to stretch some emotional chops and I really liked seeing McCarthy's character.  O'Dowd is a complicated one who is both frustrating but also provides some emotion when the issues in the family begin to be confronted.  And Kline, Olyphant, Diggs, and Gisondo were wonderful in their limited roles.  However, this film just didn't have enough wonder in these characters.  There were some scenes of really good emotion in the middle, when we really start to learn what happened and the characters begin to confront it, but up until that point we really didn't get that much.  

And the story of the Starling is inconsistently paced.  It starts off very slowly, gradually introducing you to these characters and their predicament.  In the middle, it becomes much more interesting and enjoyable as more and more is revealed to you.  I don't mind a slow start, but it felt like there was intentionally not much happening at the start.  The middle was a nice breath of fresh air; where the movie really starts to get interesting.  But then it seems like the film resolves itself a little too quickly.  Some characters have pretty sharp character turns and the central conflict in the story resolves a little too quickly.  

And like the emotion, the central component of the film--the strange territorial bird--is likewise hit or miss.  It is random and a little annoying at the start, but grows on you as the film progresses.  However, it never really hits the emotional high it should.  Much like the film, it is an interesting concept that doesn't evoke the level of emotion the story and this cast should.  The Starling just doesn't hit enough of anything: the comedy is ok, but not very funny; the emotions are there and make some fleeting appearances but just don't hit the right highs and lows; and the bird part of the story is enjoyable but not really anything special.  Overall, the Starling's message just doesn't sing.  And on top of that, the Starling is CG the entire time. It's not bad but it is noticeable.  And the thing apparently hits like an NFL linebacker from the reactions that these characters have.

Overall, I wanted to like The Starling much more than I did.  It just felt like it had bright ideas, but couldn't fly as high as this stellar cast and interesting concept should have taken it.

Rent it.

C.J. Barbato	...	associate producer David Boies	...	executive producer Justin Bursch	...	executive in charge of production Alex Dong	...	executive producer Zev Foreman	...	executive producer Nancy Kirhoffer	...	post production producer Theodore Melfi	...	producer Kimberly Quinn	...	producer Gabby Revilla Lugo	...	executive producer Zack Schiller	...	executive producer Dylan Sellers	...	producer Trisha Wilson	...	associate producer Tyler Zacharia	...	executive producer

If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
The Starling is available in theaters on September 17, 2021 and on Netflix on September 24, 2021.  For tickets, click here.

This site contains affiliate links. //Commerce or this site may be compensated when you click through links on our site.  

No comments:

Post a Comment