Annette Bening and Jamie Bell are "superb" in FILM STARS DON'T DIE IN LIVERPOOL, the true story of the romance between silver screen siren Gloria Grahame, "a … Top reviews. 5 star 57% 4 star 21% 3 star 11% 2 star 7% 1 star 4% How are ratings calculated? I was immediately interested in what the film was offering. Also not helping was the tawdry talk that she and spouse No. Ed Potton. (Most of us have probably seen her briefly in It’s a Wonderful Life, where she played Violet Bick). The movie is based on a memoir by Peter Turner, who is portrayed in “Film Stars…” by Jamie Bell. Pricey!) Facebook . As the film opens, we see an older Grahame (Annette Bening, more vulnerable than usual while adding a breathy girlish trill to her voice) prepping backstage at a Lancaster, England theater where she is headlining as delusional matriarch Amanda in “The Glass Menagerie.” She performs tongue-twisting verbal warm-ups and tends to her makeup and hair before taking one last drag on a cigarette. At this point, Film Stars cannot tell us anything more than we already know about the nature of the Hollywood star system, and sidles us with a love story that only its star and subject care about. Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool follows the passionate relationship between aspiring actor, Peter Turner (Jamie Bell), and Academy Award-winning actress, Gloria Grahame (Annette Bening). It's a wonder why this hidden gem didn't garner more accolades during the 2017-2018 movie awards season. for language, some sexual content and brief nudity. It is very touching when Gloria first invites Peter into her room in the middle of the day to do a little disco dancing, ostensibly because she needs someone with whom to rehearse a routine. Gloria goes off to powder her nose while Peter pays for the drinks, and the landlord asks, with an air of disbelief: “Isn’t that Gloria Grahame …?” And he leaves it there. John Nolan - December 29, 2017. At one point, Peter visits Los Angeles and meets her acting teacher mother Jeanne (a fabulous Vanessa Redgrave)  and vindictive older sis Joy (Frances Barber) at Grahame’s cozy beachside bungalow. Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool review – Hollywood on the Mersey. Customer reviews. Our original picture from the … If the name fails to ring a bell, just fast-forward to the scene in 1946’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” where Violet Bick, the town flirt, flounces down the street in a fancy dress. She is not so much a Norma Desmond figure, staying big while the movies got small; she is closer to someone her mother (played by Vanessa Redgrave) compares her to: Marilyn Monroe, an actor having to stay tough while life and showbusiness give her the fuzzy end of the lollipop. Read 100 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Later, you see Peter in a cinema, wonderingly watching Gloria in her glorious heyday in Naked Alibi from 25 years or so before. Reviews & Commentary Add a Review User Reviews . The only answer that “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool” provides is Annette Bening’s marvelously helpless performance as a 50-something Grahame. Outside of these great performances and subtle character work though, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool is a somewhat conventional romantic drama. "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool" is a sweet and sad story of star-crossed lovers in an especially unusual May-December relationship. It’s not to say that her life isn’t film worthy, but the particular time in Grahame’s life that the filmmakers chose to tell is rather strange. Humanity and compassion … Annette Bening and Jamie Bell in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. It's terrifically acted and creatively shot and edited. Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool is an autobiographical account of the last days of the actress Gloria Grahame, told by her erstwhile partner, Peter Turner. Film reviews round-up: Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, Mudbound, Ingrid Goes West, Good Time. It is somewhat refreshing to witness a May-December romance from an older female perspective and both leads pour their hearts into their roles. Paul McGuigan’s film, however, is interested in just two things: her late-in-life romance with a much younger man, and her sad decline as she finally succumbed to cancer. The awards season began with talk that this might be the performance that would snare an Oscar for Bening, who has yet to win after four tries and was cruelly passed by for last year’s superior “20th Century Women.” Oddly enough, Bening used Grahame’s iconic bad-girl performances as inspiration for her sultry con lady in 1990’s “The Grifters,” the source of her first Academy Award nod—and a more fitting tribute than her current release. Why, I only wear it when I don't care how I look.”, Unfortunately, for the most part, “Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool” steadfastly sticks to the period between 1979 and 1981, when the then-single Grahame had a fling with a British stage actor in his late 20s, Peter Turner, before she succumbed to breast cancer at age 57. After a date to see “Alien,” Gloria delights in the infamous stomach-burst scene and later behaves as if she is in one of her old films, telling Peter over drinks, “I like habits, especially the bad ones.” But she ultimately drops the false façade to reveal that her dream is to play Juliet onstage at the Royal Shakespeare Theater—an admission that will result in an emotional highlight later on. Tweet. Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool is adapted from the memoir by Peter Turner, who fell in love with “Glo” in 1979 and then cared for her through her illness in 1981. The screen romance of Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool may seem as odd as the real-life pairing was, but it’s a credit to all concerned that the validity of it is never in doubt. We’re allowed to discern the peace that Grahame derives … As an unknown, struggling young actor in the late 70s, Turner met and fell in love with Gloria Grahame, the legendary Hollywood star and Oscar-winner who, incredibly, was living in the same north London boarding house. Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool review – Annette Bening and Jamie Bell in stranger-than-fiction love story. * As the era of the classic movie stars comes to a close in Internet celebrities or whatever, our fascination with the romantic lives of those Golden Age stars is endless. "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool" (2017 release; 107 min.) stars 4 out of 5 stars. Then, some time after their affair ended, Turner received a phone call: Grahame had collapsed in her dressing room while on tour in the UK, and had asked to come and stay with Peter and his family in Liverpool, convinced that she could recover there. Expectations for Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool were high, despite the clunky title, following a charming trailer and intriguing, true-story premise. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 November 2017. What an astounding actress Annette Bening is. Music, Film, TV and Political News Coverage. Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool is as sad and awkward as its title. Please try again later. However, when it comes to ‘Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool’, Bening is again giving a wonderfully luminous performance – it’s just a shame that this time, the film isn’t quite on her level. Soul! Our Souls at Night review – Robert Redford and Jane Fonda in a moving autumn romance. Very interesting. This article was amended on 14 November 2017. An unlikely story, but a true one, based on Peter Turner’s memoir. Nominated for Outstanding Debut Feature at Cinema Eye Honors, Celebrate The HistoryMakers 20@2020: 20 Days and 20 Nights Streams Online Through December 20th, The Mandalorian Chapter 15 Recap: Those Poor Mudscuffers, The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone. Twitter *NOTE: This is a reprint of my review from the Middleburg Film Festival. here is a tremendous warmth and tenderness to this sweet, sad love story starring. 2, director Nicholas Ray. Bell taps into his Billy Elliot spirit for this, and Bening is herself no mean dancer. Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. Annette Bening and Jamie Bell star in this biography … There is a great spark between Bell and Bening, and I think these are the most relaxed performances I have seen from either of them. FILM STARS DON'T DIE IN LIVERPOOL: 4 STARS. The lustrous and mythic black-and-white celluloid, so different from modernity’s colour, make it seem like she came from another planet. Directed by Paul McGuigan. Sony Pictures Classics . Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 1, 2018. Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool: Trailer 1 2 minutes 3 seconds Added: Nov 23, 2017 Their romance is a passionate one, so the movie has several sexual situations, though there's little graphic content beyond brief images of naked breasts. Directed by Paul McGuigan. Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool is based on the life of the real Gloria Grahame, an Oscar-winning actress largely forgotten now. Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool too finds a way to break the fourth wall without canceling out our willing suspension of disbelief. By the time it ends, that darkness has grown so complete that it’s hard to tell whose story we’re even watching. Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool is a 2017 biographical romantic drama film directed by Paul McGuigan and starring Annette Bening and Jamie Bell, with a cast that includes Vanessa Redgrave and Julie Walters. By. “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool” is a tawdrier, more tragic, but similarly superficial “My Week with Marilyn,” devoted to the dying days of an actress who always lived in Monroe’s voluptuous shadow. A relationship portrayed by Annete Bening and Jamie Bell? She was in the endgame of her career yet maintaining a never-say-die optimism, looking for stage work in Britain and suppressing worries about her health. Movie Reviews Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool 25 December 2017 Todd Jorgenson . There is an interesting scene when Peter takes Gloria down to the local pub for a couple of pints of bitter. Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool. It is based on the memoir of the same name by Peter Turner, which tells of his relationship with Academy Award-winning American actress Gloria Grahame in 1970s Liverpool and, some years later, … It alludes to some statements on the broader picture but is mainly focussed on the more … As a result, career lows take precedence over the meager highs on screen, turning the film into a depressive variation of the somewhat similar “My Week With Marilyn.” Turner, whose 1986 memoir about their affair is the basis of this somber saga, is lucky enough to be portrayed with abundant depth by Jamie Bell in his meatiest dramatic role since his debut in “Billy Elliot.”. Turner met the film noir legend when they both rented rooms in a London boarding house in 1979. •Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool screened at the Telluride film festival, and will be released in November. Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, 2017. 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