Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool

Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool ★★★★½

I've seen three of Gloria Grahame's most famous movies, It's a Wonderful Life, Crossfire, and her Oscar winning turn in The Bad and the Beautiful, but I didn't know her crazy and controversial life story until preparing to see this movie and of course seeing it played out. Annette Bening gives a divine performance embodying Gloria Grahame in her final years trying to get back on her feet as an actress in the London theater scene who meets and falls in love with a younger actor played excellently by Jamie Bell. Bening is always fantastic but Jamie Bell is someone who I don't think the industry knows what to do with him. He broke big with Billy Elliott and then starred in a couple big blockbusters that either flopped or went know where but in this movie, he is given the showcase he deserves. Bell and Bening have beautiful chemistry that makes the age gap such a thing to brush off because you really feel their love ooze out of the screen. Julie Walters is her typical Julie Walters self and that's always great and it was nice to see Vanessa Redgrave pop up as Gloria's mother. The costumes, production design, score, and writing are all stellar. It was also really lovely to see bisexual representation in a movie with both Bell and Bening's characters sharing a heart to heart about their past relationships with men and women it's not made a big deal about! I really fell in love watching this movie even if it dips into My Week With Marilyn territory. I wish this movie got more love than just BAFTA noms and was getting a way better handled release than what it is getting.

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