Why do women have a more challenging time than men when it comes to having the power to tell their own story, run their own business, or obtain higher pay at work? This concept is the focal point of director Alan McIntyre’s film STARGAZER, which effectively tackles characters striving to achieve success in their own craft.

The movie is about Grace Campbell (Kate Ginna), a graduate student trying to persuade anyone to publish her story based on forgotten female astronomer Cecilia Payne. After several rejections, she finally gets through to Spike Randall (Matt Bogart), a journalist who gives Grace an opportunity to tell Cecilia’s story by scheduling her a live interview with law professor and historian Annette Gordon-Reed.

While Spike talks to Grace in a library regarding his plan to have her speak with Annette, a woman named Diana (Lei Nico) overhears their conversation and is interested in Grace’s project. Diana is a dancer who shares her own project with Grace: a ballet about a princess who is stuck in a dilemma between her royal parents and a goddess who orders her to never have sex with a man. Grace and Diana become friendly and enjoy sharing each other’s stories and conceptual ideas while also trying to inspire Spike along the way.

This picture is reminiscent of several films involving the process of storytelling or the “story within a story” narrative (including the doc Create or Die and the indie feature Bird of Paradise) since it involves characters trying to build upon their own artistry and have elaborate visions of the stories they’re describing. Ginna, Bogart, and Nico all deliver exceptional performances not only as their primary characters, but also as the individuals depicted in their stories. Ginna brings sincerity and determination as both Grace and Cecilia, women who strive to share their discoveries with the world without men trying to take credit for it.

Nico is intimate and funny as Diana and the goddess she depicts in her dance story. Just like Grace, Diana wants to control her story and tell it in an expressive and meaningful way. Bogart is comical and charismatic as Spike, while also leaving audiences wondering whether he’s a trustworthy character or a selfish one. All three protagonists also have chemistry in the way they physically and verbally express themselves while performing their stories, as if they are actors in a stage play.

The library is also a perfect setting because it is a place for learning and exploration, and the more the characters share details about themselves and challenge each other, the more they learn about their personalities and intentions. The songs by Phoebe Kreutz, including “If God is a Woman” and “Oh, Elizabeth I,” also set the tone for the film in the way they represent feminism and female empowerment.

STARGAZER is a poignant film about two women working together and supporting each other’s work as they smash the norms set by men. Whether it’s in the realms of dance or science, women have the power to tell their stories, achieve wonders and fulfill their dreams of success.




Why do women have a more challenging time than men when it comes to having the power to tell their own story, run their own

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