In sports, relationships and indeed life, sometimes it’s the little things that end up mattering most — the hustle down the first baseline on a routine grounder, the changed windshield wiper blades as an unsolicited favor for a loved one, and the extra-pass proofreading of a job search query letter. Lest we forget, such can be the case with cinema, too. For all the Hollywood obsession with high-concept and special effects, sometimes there’s something enchanting about a simple story simply told, and a movie of small rather than grand gestures.
Case in point: the pleasant and enchanting Brightest Star, a narratively slight but well acted and keenly observed romantic dramedy about a twentysomething guy’s amorous fumblings and occupational uncertainty. Starring Chris Lowell, Rose McIver and Jessica Szohr, debut director Maggie Kiley’s Brightest Star isn’t a movie of conventionally structured catharsis. But it does understand, on an intuitive level, the enormous weight of young adult ambivalence, and how that can be a suffocating thing in its own right. And sometimes there’s warmth and value in such reflection. For the full, original review, from Paste, click here. (Gravitas Ventures, unrated, 80 minutes)