Film Stars Don't Die in L'pool

"It's a beguiling story and Jamie Bell and Annette Bening are tremendous as the star-crossed lovers." ★★★★ Guardian

Showing Times

We loved this when it came out in November, and we're loving that it has just had the boost of BAFTA nominations for both Annette Bening and Jamie Bell!

Based on Peter Turner's memoir, the film tells the unlikely-but-true story of the affair between young hotel clerk Turner (Jamie Bell) and the eccentric actress Gloria Grahame (Annette Bening) in 1978 Liverpool.  Lexi regulars may know Grahame as naughty-but-nice Violet in It's a Wonderful Life (returning this year on Sat 23 Dec).  She later found fame in film noirs (notably The Big Heat), but when this starts she's come out  the other end of stardom, scandal, ill-health and a nervous breakdown and is in the UK  to drum up stage work.  The affair with Turner had precedent - husband no. 4 was scandalously younger than her - but neither could have anticipated that exuberant passion would become compassion when her breast cancer resurfaces. Shunning further treatment, Gloria asks to be taken home by Peter, to his semi in Liverpool with his mother (Julie Walters) and aunt (Vanessa Redgrave).

'Melodrama' might've been Grahame's middle name, but director Paul McGuigan (Sherlock) adapts Turner's memoir with sensitivity, producing a film that's emminently watchable and genuinely touching.  It wouldn't have succeeded, though, without Bening's magnetic and brave performance at the centre (and Jamie Bell excels, too).  


Film Information

106 mins

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