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Past Films

Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool

  • Starring: Jamie Bell, Annette Bening, Julie Walters
  • Director: Paul McGuigan
  • Genre(s): Biography, Drama, Romance
  • Rating: R
  • Running Time: 105 min.

Based on Peter Turner’s memoir, the film follows the playful but passionate relationship between Turner (Bell) and the eccentric Academy Award (R)-winning actress Gloria Grahame (Bening) in 1978 Liverpool. What starts as a vibrant affair between a legendary femme fatale and her young lover quickly grows into a deeper relationship, with Turner being the person Gloria turns to for comfort. Their passion and lust for life is tested to the limits by events beyond their control.

"Bening - who, let's be real, is about 15 years and eight performances overdue for her own Oscar already - holds the movie in her hands."
- Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly
"Brittle and insecure, yet also steely and magnetic, Bening's performance is full of nuance."
- Philip De Semlyen, Time Out
"What an astounding actress Annette Bening is. And she's at her very best playing Gloria Grahame, a screen siren of the 1940s and 1950s, who faced a health crisis in her final days with the help of a new love (a terrific Jamie Bell)."
- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Bening's expert runs up and down the emotional register leave no room for doubt about Grahame's charisma even when she's playing her own worst enemy."
- Ella Taylor, NPR
"Bening is outstanding as a woman who fears that her fame and beauty are slipping away, and Bell ("Billy Elliot") brings to his character a heartbreaking vulnerability."
- Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Landing lightly on the loneliness of fame and the ravages of aging, 'Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool' is a fond farewell to a distinctive talent."
- Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
"There is no denying the emotional force that this film develops, and for that, we can credit talented filmmakers and two stars working at the height of their powers. "
- Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter
"Bening has done a remarkable job of capturing Grahame's look and her breathy way of talking, insuring that her performance is real and using it to explore still-relevant issues of aging, glamour and relationships. "
- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times