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To the Stars

Where to Watch To the Stars

NR
2020

"To the Stars" is a poignant drama film directed by the talented and creative Martha Stephens, known for previous projects such as "Land Ho!". The 2019 film stars an eclectic cast, with heavy performers like Kara Hayward, Jordana Spiro, and Tina Parker. It paints a vivid picture of Midwestern life set in the 1960s, adopting a vintage black and white aesthetic that masterfully complements the tone and subject matter of the film.

Kara Hayward, best known for her remarkable performance in Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom", now stars as Iris Deerborne, a young, introverted girl grappling with a life of disappointment, isolation, and the usual trials of adolescence. Hayward beautifully enacts the role, allowing her character's inner strength to percolate through her bashful exterior. Iris Deerborne is hardly your conventional female lead, full of quiet diffidence and understated charm.

Enter the fiercely independent, stylish, and confident Maggie Richmond, portrayed brilliantly by Liana Liberato. Maggie is a new arrival to the small town, an instant contrast against the muted, grey canvas of mundane rural life. Liberato's charismatic display lends a certain magnetism to her character, pulling in the Chronicles of Narnia's Tony Revolori as the smitten Jeff Owings and causing the town girls to reassess their own popularity.

Unexpected and hesitant friendship blossoms between the vulnerable Iris and the outgoing Maggie. As the two navigate through their myriad personal traumas and secrets, a beautiful portrayal of adolescence, rebellion, and shared humanity is skilfully presented. Although set in a simpler time of the 60s, the film delves into complex issues like misogyny, societal expectations, and the constraints of traditional femininity.

Jordana Spiro starkly stands out as Francie Deerborne, Iris's emotionally distant mother who wrestles with her own unfulfilled dreams and personal insecurities. Her performance, wrought with a blend of bitterness and vulnerability, adds a sophisticated layer to the narrative. It highlights the struggles of women in an unyielding society, confined by conventionality and forgotten dreams.

Tina Parker in her role as Hilda, a practical yet compassionate hairstylist, offers moments of comic relief. Despite the movie's profound subject matter, Hilda brings a lightness to the film that's most appreciated. Yet her character's role in the narrative also unveils profound insights, significantly contributing to both Iris's and Maggie's arcs in the film.

Andrew Reed's magnificent cinematography along with Heather McIntosh's stirring score breathes life into the narrative, making "To the Stars" as much about the look and feel of the film as it is about its storyline and performances. The monochromatic aesthetic of the film serves as a rich symbolic vessel, portraying the stark theme of conformity in the microcosm of the Midwestern town. By striking a balance between the black-and-white scheme and bouts of color in the latter half, the film subtly marks the changes and transformations in the lives of its characters.

Despite being categorized as a drama, "To the Stars" dexterously blurs the boundaries between genres, expertly mixing elements of coming-of-age, friendship, and social conventions into its narrative. The mastery of filmmaker Martha Stephens and writers Shannon Bradley-Colleary is seen in their careful and sensitive handling of these intricate themes.

"On the whole, "To the Stars" is a piece of deeply engrossing and nuanced cinema. It is honest, vulnerable, and profoundly poignant. The stellar performances, coupled with masterful storytelling and splendid cinematic imagery, make it a potent portrayal of friendship, teen angst, and the struggle against conformity. It very much stands out as an exploration of the human condition, making it a must-watch for fans of dramatic and character-driven films.

To the Stars is a Comedy, Drama movie released in 2020. It has a runtime of 111 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.2. It also holds a MetaScore of 60.

How to Watch To the Stars

Where can I stream To the Stars movie online? To the Stars is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, Starz, The Roku Channel, Kanopy, Apple TV, Amazon, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent To the Stars for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

6.2/10
60/100
Director
Martha Stephens
Stars
Malin Akerman, Adelaide Clemens, Liana Liberato, Kara Hayward, Tony Hale, Shea Whigham, Lucas Zumann, Jordana Spiro
Also directed by Martha Stephens
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