Title: To The Stars
Release Date: April 24, 2020
Director: Martha Stephens
Production Company: Northern Lights Films | Foton Pictures | Rockhill Media | Prowess Pictures | Bending Light
Iris (Kara Hayward of Massachusetts and Moonrise Kingdom fame) is a shy and unpopular teenage in rural Oklahoma in the early 1960s. A new girl in town, Maggie Richmond (Liana Liberato), helps Iris fight off bullies, and unimpressed by the popular girls at the school, gradually befriends Iris. While they don’t discuss it, they both come from abusive families, and neither seems to be interested to the conventional lifestyles of their peers.
The movie is good in that it provides an honest depiction of a female friendship. But the movie is also slow-moving. Worst of all, while it doesn’t fully embrace the “bury your gays” trope, because no LGBT characters die, all of the lesbian characters are driven away from town so that only a straight character can speak for them. The movie does have some good acting from the two leads, and makes some beautiful film from the bleak Oklahoma landscape. But ultimately this movie has ambitions toward profoundness that it fails to fulfill.