One kind of film
From director Paul McGuigan the film chronicles the latter years of Gloria Grahame, starlet of the 50s, and the romance she has with a younger actor. Alternating between the grim reality of 80s
Annette Bening is exceptional as Grahame, finding the ticks and quirks that make the part breathe. Jamie Bell is also very good and this, for me, felt like the first time he comfortably escaped the shackles of Billy Elliott, bringing an effective swagger to the part. They share a strong chemistry together, and it is certainly refreshing for the age-difference of the pair to be reversed from the norm. The film is at its most interesting when it explicitly references this, leading to some nice sparky exchanges. There is also sterling support from Julie Waters, Kenneth Graham and Stephen Graham (in a questionable wig) even if their roles feel a tad monotone.
The film has some quaint touches and some very nice visual cues, particularly the transition from the primary narrative to flashbacks of the couple's relationship. Yet this still couldn't make me particularly interested in this film. I understand the draw to the so-called Golden Age of Hollywood but I don't believe every story that could be told about it should be. At one point the couple go to a cinema to watch Alien and it prompted my strongest response to the entire film, which was that I wished I was watching that classic horror instead. Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool is as fine and minor as previous films about
This is a London Film Festival preview and Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool will be released on Friday 17th November.