Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (2017)

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Paul McGuigan directs Annette Bening, Jamie Bell and Julie Waters in this recreation of the unlikely romance between a young hopeful scouser and faded Hollywood star Gloria Grahame in the twilight years of her life. 

Benning throws her all into a well conceived role, and Bell supports her charmingly. It is movie that is smartly framed, beautiful to look at (even the obviously studio bound recreations of LA and Manhattan have a fantastical picture postcard quality that feels somewhat appropriate) and boosted by an obvious enthusiasm by everyone present. Having said that, by the final act there doesn’t feel like much of a story left to tell and we are basically waiting for some old name we can barely remember to have her deathbed scene. To get there any faster would be disrespectful but it doesn’t mean what starts out as effervescent and brimming with life should end up dragging its feet.

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