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The Book of Stars

The Book of Stars
Jena Malone

Jena Malone

Screen Time: 80%
Role: Mary McGuire
Age: 14 years old

 

The Book of Stars

1999
Rating: 9.3 (3 votes)
Directed: Michael Miner
Country: USA
Language: English
Genre: Coming of Age, Drama
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0163559

Summary

Two sisters, one a prostitute who has written a book of poetry and the other suffering from mental illness, live in a fantasy world created in the aftermath of their parents' death. Soon, this world is upended by some outsiders, including a prisoner who writes letters to one of the girls.

Movie Reviews

This is one of those small independent gems that apparently the studios refused to take a chance on and as a result is being seen solely on videotape and at assorted film festivals. I just had the pleasure of viewing it at the Sedona Film Festival, where after one showing word of mouth spread and the second and last viewing was packed. One of the things that made this film so memorable for me is that it took what could have been a terribly maudlin plot line -- one sister dying of cystic fibrosis being cared for by an older sister -- and elevated it to what I found to be a fascinating story of redemption and inspiration.

It helps that the older sister is a cynical hooker, played by the ever-effective Mary Stuart Masterson, and that the younger sister is upbeat without being ickypoo cute, as played by Jena Malone, who no doubt is bound for glory despite's this film's failure to get wide distribution. Delroy Lindo, always effective but perpetually underused, is also marvelous as a kindly yet prickly friend to both sisters.

Finally, I shed tears at the end of this film, and I'm a cynical writer.

~IMDb