Stargirl

Leo, an orphan of a father from an early age, moved with his mother to Mica, a small town in Arizona where “nothing ever happens”. His biggest treasure (and his Linus blanket) is a father’s tie with a hedgehog embroidered on it. But when the bullies of the new school cut it in half at 9, Leo realizes that it is better to keep a low profile and “become invisible”. The only surprise is that every birthday someone places a tie with an always different embroidery in front of his door. And when, on her 16th birthday, a new girl named Stargirl arrives at her high school, Leo suspects that she is the mysterious donor. But Stargirl is much more: an Argentine voice, original clothing (also thanks to the costume designer mother), and a way of seeing life. Leo will be immediately captured, and his existence under track will finally begin to take off.
Stargirl is based on a 2000 children’s novel signed by Jerry Spinelli and also applauded by the New York Times.
And if the story is very much already seen in its essential lines, the way in which it is visually told by Julia Hart, darling of American alternative cinema, mixes with some originality the Disney movie styles with the indie ones, making frequent musical references to the years Seventies (The Cars, Blondie, The Go-Go’s and even George Harrison of “Give me love”) and films from the eighties / nineties (in particular to Edward Mani di Scissor, honored by the suburban location and by a key scene towards the the final).
This postmodern hybridization is the most interesting element of a simple story for digital natives, whose protagonist is played by the 16-year-old singer Grace VanderWaal, a debutant on Youtube and winner of a famous overseas talent, who, however, during the course of Stargirl , will make a very relevant speech on the need to abandon the hamster wheel and the dictatorship of likes.
The film is evidently built around the ethereal presence of Grace, whose name is already a business card and who here embodies the spirit of kindness in a universe of driven antagonisms and individualisms. The tone of the story follows its track, delicate and rarefied, overflowing sweetness and magic. Is Stargirl really magical? Leo wonders when he sees them making what appear to be lay miracles. But the other guys insist on measuring the girl’s value only in terms of popularity, because that’s the dominant meter.

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