THE STARLING (L-R): MELISSA MCCARTHY as LILLY, CHRIS O'DOWD as JACK. CR: KAREN BALLARD/NETFLIX © 2021

The Starling: Melissa McCarthy’s new Netflix film offers a unique look at grief and loss

Posted by for Film

Melissa McCarthy fans, here’s what you need to know about Netflix’s The Starling

From the moment we first clapped eyes on her in Gilmore Girls, we’ve loved Melissa McCarthy

Original, independent, and fiercely funny, she has a habit of stealing the show in every film and TV series she stars in, no matter how big (or small) her role – and now the Oscar-nominated actor looks set to break our hearts with her new Netflix tragicomedy, The Starling.

Here’s what you need to know about the must-watch film.

What’s the plot of The Starling?

This powerful drama follows a married couple trying to rebuild their relationship after suffering a terrible tragedy: the death of their infant daughter. 

While Jack heads to recovery, however, Lily makes it her mission to heal in the real world – which leads to her being attacked by a starling that has built a nest near the garden she’s trying to grow.

THE STARLING (L-R): MELISSA MCCARTHY as LILLY, KEVIN KLEIN as LARRY. CR: HOPPER STONE/NETFLIX.
Kevin Kline stars opposite Melissa McCarthy in this touching comedy-drama.

Somewhat unexpectedly, the territorial bird provides an unlikely avenue for her grief and the courage to heal her relationships and rediscover her capacity for love. And, of course, it sees her bump into a psychiatrist-turned-veterinarian with baggage all his own, too.

Who stars in The Starling?

McCarthy takes the lead as Lily, while Chris O’Dowd takes on the role of her husband, Jack. Kevin Kline, meanwhile, is the gentle veterinarian our heroine turns to for help when she needs it most.

Timothy Olyphant, Daveed Diggs, Skyler Gisondo, Loretta Devine, Laura Harrier, Rosalind Chao and Kimberly Quinn also star.

Is there a trailer for The Starling?

The trailer for The Starling is making people cry all the tears, and for good reason.

“Some things are just out of our control,” says McCarthy’s Lily in an emotional voiceover. “We’re gonna move on, and move up, and find an even better life than the one we had.”

You can watch the full-length trailer for The Starling below:

To quote one YouTube viewer: “Does this movie come with a box of tissues?”

What are people saying about The Starling?

Explaining how the movie delicately walks a tightrope between tragedy and comedy, McCarthy tells EW: “It’s the thing we all relate to: You laugh at funerals, you cry at weddings. And Theodore Melfi is one of the most relatable, delicate directors, because he can still do humour and break your heart.”

She adds: “After reading the script several times, I felt that I had seen so many films whereby the ‘strong’ man fights to hold it all together while the ‘weaker’ woman takes a time out to deal with her mental state. This is beyond a cliche to me.

“Switching Jack and Lily was not only more interesting, more compelling, fresher and more modern, it was simply more accurate. Seeing a strong woman hold her life together and fight for her marriage while going through the worst circumstance any couple could go through is a story we need to see and a story that I had to tell.”

When can we watch The Starling?

The Starling will become available for streaming via Netflix on 24 September.

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Images: Netflix

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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