The Starling [5/10]

A mixed bag, this one. On the one hand, the first half of “The Starling” sets up a dramatically rewarding narrative of a married couple whose baby dies, plunging the husband into institutionalised depression and the wife into stoic activity, their stalled dynamic disrupted by a protective bird and a wise veterinarian. Notably, Melissa McCarthy is pitch-perfect as the wife, Chris O’Dowd captivates as the husband, and Kevin Kline is perfect for the role of the sage. For half the film, the plot and pacing are masterful and the film grips. But the second half fails to match the first, descending into cliche and sentimentality. Overall, The Starling is an entertaining ninety minutes that should have been so much more.

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