TORONTO — A significant character in the repellent new Netflix film “The Starling,” which premiered Sunday at the Toronto International Film Festival, is the titular fowl.
So, it’s solely applicable that I let one other winged creature review the movie for me.
Quoth the raven: “Nevermore!”
“The Starling” joins Melissa McCarthy’s dud pile, which is Mount Everest subsequent to her modest mound of crucial hits. It by no means stops being upsetting to look at such a formidably gifted actress — a genius in “Bridesmaids” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” — make so many terrible movies. McCarthy lands in dreck so usually, she would possibly as properly get TSA Precheck.
Her newest, one of the worst movies of the year, has neither the guts nor the sensitivity for its emotionally troublesome plot: She performs Lilly, a mom whose life is shattered when her child dies of sudden toddler loss of life syndrome. A year later, her husband Jack (Chris O’Dowd) is residing in a psychological well being facility to cope with his melancholy and their marriage is on the rocks. Lilly, in the meantime, is a shell of her previous self as she works a job stocking grocery retailer cabinets.
When Lilly’s boss storms as much as her in an aisle and exaggeratedly says, “People are noticing you’re acting sort of funny,” we all know we’re in for an unbelievably silly film with no grasp on humanity in any respect.
Over at Jack’s, different sufferers with severe points are mocked and changed into comedian aid by the movie (particularly Loretta Devine, who clownishly yells at all people). A involved physician there means that Lilly go discuss her personal struggles with a former colleague, Dr. Larry Fine (Kevin Kline, paying the payments).
“Like ‘The Three Stooges’?” Lilly says. The script, such because it is, is by Matt Harris.
Whelp, Dr. Fine seems to be a veterinarian who gave up on people 10 years earlier. He refuses to assist Lilly, till one day a small fowl in her yard begins to viciously assault her, and injures her head.
Somehow, even in a drama a few mom dropping her youngster, McCarthy does silly pratfalls. So many silly pratfalls.
The doc and Lilly start to speak commonly about the fowl, which — would you consider it? — has obnoxious parallels together with her personal state of affairs.
“It’s breeding season,” Fine says of the starling’s aggression. “Eggs, hatchlings, that sort of thing.”
And later: “Starlings are different from other birds. When they mate, they build a nest together. They’re not meant to be alone.”
Can the starling please claw my eyes and ears out?
Quickly and much too cleanly, Lilly and Jack (O’Dowd’s shtick wears skinny), who secretly wasn’t taking any of his remedy, make amends and start to get their life again on monitor. All of this is set to a schmaltzy soundtrack by Brandi Carlisle.
It comes as a bit of a shock that “The Starling” was directed by Theodore Melfi, whose “Hidden Figures” was deservedly nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. As the credit roll, and the viewers runs away, one factor is sure: For Melfi, “Hidden Figures” was a fluke.