Maybe I grossly missed the point, but I am not entirely sure what Stella for Star was trying to tell me. On the one hand, the short film seemed to want to be a public service announcement concerning fusion’s potential to become the primary source of clean energy of the future. On the other, it acted as a commentary on the trials of a single working mom, attempting to keep it all together as she balances a prestigious career with her role as a loving, dutiful mom to two young kids.
It’s in the latter aspect rather than the former where the film succeeds. Dr. Marcy Later (Robin Weigert) is in New Orleans to speak at a fusion science conference, just as a hurricane is primed to attack the coastal city. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending upon how you look at it, Marcy’s children, pre-teen Isabelle (Kaitlyn Hall), younger brother Elliot (Gibson Ledgerwood), and Jennifer (Alice Tolan-Mee), the au pair, have tagged along. It’s not clear whether or not Marcy is divorced, but she is most definitely separated from her husband, the father of her kids. All four share the unenviable position of having to bunk together in a nondescript room at the conference hotel, a situation made particularly difficult for the temperamental Isabelle.
“…one night at the hotel bar, Marcy engages in conversation with a few of the furries.”
Marcy, for her part, is on the verge of needing a time out: she looks tired and overwhelmed. She’s put together and pleasant, but the bags under her eyes betray her collected demeanor. While she is obviously proud of her work in the area of fusion and believes in what she espouses, it is evident that the responsibilities of parenting coupled with working while on the road has taken its toll.
Serendipitously, Marcy is presented with a reprieve, even if it’s only for a few hours. There is a conference running concurrently at Marcy’s hotel that is a bit sexier than the one she is attending for work. This other conference revolves around the fetishistic furry subculture. For the uninitiated, “furry” is a type of cosplay whereby people dress up as animals with human characteristics. Marcy is intrigued (I would be too) and envious of the fun that the furries appear to be having while she is saddled with fusion science and kids.
"…I am not entirely sure what Stella for Star was trying to tell me."