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Review: The Dolly Parton-tuned ‘Dumplin’ ‘ is more of a collection of aphorisms than a movie

So, sure, “Dumplin’ ” is muddled uplift, but with some encouraging new wrinkles. Which is why, oddly enough, the movie is best represented by Parton’s heart-rending single for it, “Girl in the Movies,” in which the narrator’s dream of stardom isn’t about fame or romance but just the opportunity to play the lead in one’s own life (“acting out her story / standing in her glory”). It’s a softly strummed wish for agency that’s both as powerful as a protest, and as poignant as a prayer. Pure Dolly, in other words. You know what to do, Oscar pageant judges.