Be overwhelmed by Eliza Scanlen’s overwhelming performance

Note to Oscar voters: Remember Eliza Scanlen’s brilliant performance as a 17-year-old girl struggling to find her way in a Christian fundamentalist community in rural Kentucky. starling girl. The film builds steadily until it marvels at its depth in the third act, giving Scanlen the ideal platform to showcase her prodigious talents. Of course, we’ve seen her before her. She got a lot of attention when she played a rebellious girl against Amy Adams in the movie. sharp object And then later as Beth March, Great turn by Greta Gerwig as screenwriter/director of little women. Scanlen’s sublime performance is remarkable here and recognition.

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As with some of Scanlen’s previous appearances, her new A powerful woman takes command, This time, Laurel Palmett is writing and directing. starling girl Be careful and cautious. The story follows Jem Sterling (Scanlen), a vulnerable teenager trying to make sense of himself, his attraction to an older, young minister (Louis Pullman), and his place within Christian families and communities. revolve around. The film also stars Len Schmidt, Jimmy Simpson, Claire Elizabeth Green, Austin Abrams, Chris Dinner, and Brianna Bronger.this is growth story It lingers long after you’ve tasted it.

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starling girl This will be Laurel Palmett’s debut as a writer and director, but the director is in a gray area of ​​life: too many questions that never seem to have definitive answers. It does an excellent job of finding the rich and nuanced stories that exist in the esoteric midline of our lives. In fact, that’s Jem’s main predicament. She was raised as a Christian fundamentalist and her mother Heidi (Schmidt) was strict. His father, Paul (Simpson), to a lesser extent, has an “order” and a code of conduct to follow wherever Gem goes.

When a charming young pastor named Owen (Pullman) returns, everything begins to rock. Owen returns to his hometown to start a new chapter with his wife, with whom he apparently has no deep bond, and is actually the son of a pastor. But that’s not the case with Jem. Jem and Owen are surprised by their growing liking for each other, wondering if Jem is just having a crush on Owen, who is over ten years older than him, or there’s actually something more to it. I doubt it. But how could that be? There is an age difference. Owen is the son of a pastor. Such things were not taught in the church.

Related: EXCLUSIVE: Eliza Scanlen and Louis Pullman Talk About Their Complicated Relationship in ‘Sterling Girl’

But Gem lets his curiosity take over, and as a result, the film comes to life in ways that surprise audiences. Surprisingly, Palmett does not preach here. The filmmakers draw the audience into Gem’s world, where we watch the steady unfolding of mostly small but important events that could ultimately change the trajectory of Jem’s life forever. Witnessif you recall what a movie moonlight Palmett’s outing is similar, with Scanlen directing every scene she occupies. After all, the “movies” are not scraped.

Actors liven up the story

starling girl is a story that draws from Palmett’s real life events and moves along an even beat, but the film’s cast truly elevates the effort into a great experience.Previous work by Len Schmidt for all mankind In this highly influential film, she gives a strong performance as Jem’s mother, Heidi. Sure, it’s always fun to see actors fall in love with their roles, but there’s something extraordinary, haunting, and very real about the way Schmidt approaches Heidi’s role. Here is a woman so committed to her beliefs that she is wary and fearful of anything that might jeopardize her beliefs. She knows it and walks her fine line, but sticks even more firmly to her beliefs just to keep her “order”.

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in the meantime, Attracted by Louis Pullman And captivate the screen in every frame he occupies. Owen is captivating, profound and even sensual in the way he approaches things. He’s also cautious, but for different reasons than Heidi. And he, like Jem, is astounded at their mutual intrigues and the precarious moral path they will ultimately take. Pullman adds a rare level of authenticity here, too, and in the hands of another filmmaker, his character might look more like a villain than an actual flawed human being.

Jimi Simpon’s interpretation of Jem’s father, Paul Sterling, stands out. Palmetto effectively captures a man trapped in self-imposed responsibilities and a desire to make up for it, even if only a little. The rest of the cast is impeccably cast, with several scenes reserved for Jem as a potential love interest to explore her place in the world and how much her family can do to maintain their place. We find Scanlen brilliantly demonstrating the girl’s ongoing dilemma about what to do. Fortunately, Palmetto’s serene illustrations fundamentalist Christian community No judgment is valid here. Considering the polarizing times we seem to be living in, this is a great achievement.

Bottom line: Eliza Scanlen is a gem. Rarely do we come across actors who capture us so perfectly in a story and make us think deeply about our beliefs and decisions. She best enjoys her and this film unfolding before her eyes in a surprisingly effective way.

From Bleecker Street starling girl is currently showing in theaters. Be overwhelmed by Eliza Scanlen’s overwhelming performance

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