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Melissa McCarthy Gives Knock Out Performance in The Starling

Melissa McCarthy’s Stars in The Starling
The Starling Film

Written by: Nikoleta Morales

After Lilly (Melissa McCarthy) suffers a loss, a battle with a territorial bird (The Starling) over dominion of her garden provides an unlikely avenue for her grief and the courage to heal her relationships and rediscover her capacity for love. The American comedy-drama film is directed by Theodore Melfi and written by Matt Harris. In addition to McCarthy, it stars Chris O'Dowd, Timothy Olyphant, Daveed Diggs, Skyler Gisondo, Laura Harrier, Rosalind Chao, Loretta Devine, and Kevin Kline. It had its world premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2021 and is now streaming on Netflix starting September 24, 2021. Journalist Nikoleta Morales speaks to writer Matt Harris on his debut feature, working with Melissa McCarthy and what he hopes the audience take away from the film.

About Screenwriter Matt Harris:

A nomadic life gave screenwriter Matt Harris an indelible perspective on the nature of human relationships; in particular, how unique, individual experience can be expressed to reveal universal themes. Harris graduated from Cal State University in Bakersfield, majoring in English and received his Master’s in American Literature from San Diego State University. His fascination with storytelling led him to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in screenwriting.

His first feature, The Starling, starring Melissa McCarthy, Academy Award® Winner Kevin Kline and Chris O’Dowd began as a nagging awareness of nature's indifference to human suffering but we, the victims of that indifference, struggle to accept that. The idea evolved into a story of an inexplicable tragedy that befalls a couple. Torn apart by this event, they are forced to reconcile their grief and seek a way forward if they are to share a future together.

Harris wrote the script, named to the 2005 Blacklist, with the prize money he won from the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting for his western, Moon of Popping Trees, which is currently in production with its new title: Dead for a Dollar starring Emmy Winner Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Willem Dafoe and Academy Award® winner Christoph Waltz, directed by Walter Hill (Aliens, 48 Hrs.).

In addition to screenwriting, Harris has for worked several years producing television. He started as a production assistant on network dramas and reality. Later, he moved on to produce television for Travel Channel, Nickelodeon, History Channel, Tru TV, and lastly, MTV. While at MTV, Harris became showrunner of their hit series Ridiculousness, one of the longest running shows on the network.

The Starling is on Netflix beginning Sept 24th 2021.

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