HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

Film Review: Annette Bening Proves ‘Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool’

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 5 (2 votes)

CHICAGOGEORGE BAILEY: “Hey, you look good. That’s some dress you got on there.” VIOLET: “This old thing? I only wear it when I don’t care how I look.” That is how actress Gloria Grahame (as Violet Bick) was introduced in the classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Now she is portrayed by Annette Bening in “Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool”.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

The movie is based on a memoir by Peter Turner, who is portrayed in “Film Stars…” by Jamie Bell. Turner was a young actor who had an affair with the much older Grahame near the end of her life in the late 1970s/early ‘80s. He lived in Liverpool, England, and took care of the Oscar winner near her demise. The unusual May/December romance is characterized through Grahame’s deep insecurities, which Annette Bening plays to perfection. It’s also a somewhat claustrophobic film, mostly taking place in hotel rooms and the small Liverpool house of Peter’s parents, but that adds to the desperation and tension. So many of those notable actresses from the studio system era (1930s-50s) were forgotten and faded away, and Gloria Grahame was certainly a prime example.

The film opens with Grahame (Bening) preparing to go on stage in the play “The Glass Menagerie.” She is stricken in her dressing room, and Peter Turner (Jamie Bell) is called. It turns out that Grahame has a advanced cancer that she didn’t disclose, so Turner puts her up in his parent’s home in Liverpool to convalesce. This distresses his mother and father (Julie Walters, Kenneth Cranham) who feel that Grahame should die beside her American family.

The film also flashes back to the relationship of Gloria and Peter. It is revealed that Grahame has a predilection toward younger men, which could account for her four marriages, one of which was with her stepson from her second marriage, Tony Ray. Her deep insecurities, regarding aging, acting and her life’s purpose, severed many of the threads in her relationship with Peter.

”Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool” continues its limited release in Chicago on January 12th. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Annette Bening, Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Kenneth Cranham, Frances Barber and Vanessa Redgrave. Screenplay adapted by Matt Greenhalgh. Directed by Paul McGuigan. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”

FSDD1
Annette Bening and Jamie Bell in ‘Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool’
Photo credit: Sony Pictures Classics

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
- 84 = eight
Solve this math question and enter the solution with digits. E.g. for "two plus four = ?" enter "6".

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Cher Show, The

    CHICAGO – Cherilyn Sarkisian… yes, that is her birth name… is the redoubtable Cher, and it’s perfect timing for her to have a jukebox musical tribute. “The Cher Show,” covering three eras/songs of the six-decade career of Cher, opens for a Chicago preview before its Broadway run, from June 12th through July 25th, 2018.

  • ThroatPunch

    CHICAGO – The provocative title of Sharon Krome’s new stage play, “ThroatPunch,” does not contain that particular fight technique. But it does have standout performances by the three person cast, as they make their way in Chicago, circa 1983, amid their emerging twentysomething punk rock attitude. The World Premiere of the show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through June 3rd, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

Advertisement



HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
referendum
tracker