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

Fri 24 Nov 18:30
Fri 24 Nov 20:45
Sat 25 Nov 15:00
Sat 25 Nov 20:30
Sun 26 Nov 19:15

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.  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).  After 4 Oscar nominations the feeling is that this might be Bening's year.  After all, Gloria Grahame was an Oscar winner (for The Bad and the Beautiful), so it seems fitting for her to give a hand up to another singularly independent actor!


Film Information

106 mins

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