Film FestivalsMovie ReviewsTIFF 2017: Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool Review

Keith NoakesSeptember 10, 2017

This will be one of many reviews during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. If you would like to keep up with our content, click here.

Synopsis: Based on Peter Turner’s memoir, the film follows the playful but passionate relationship between Turner and the eccentric Academy Award®-winning actress Gloria Grahame 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.  (Mongrel Media)

Starring: Anette Bening, Jamie Bell, and Vanessa Redgrave

Writer: Matt Greenhalgh

Director:  Paul McGuigan

Rating: n/a

Running Time: 105mins


Annette Bening has had numerous memorable roles in her career but her role in this film as famed 1950s actress Gloria Grahame should be right up there if not at the top. The film follows Grahame and her relationship with a young, aspiring actor named Peter Turner (Bell). Once Grahame falls ill and asks to stay in Turner’s home with his family, memories of their multi-year relationship come streaming in and it was through these memories that we learned the extent of their relationship.

The film transitions in and out these flashbacks so seamlessly that they were beautiful to watch and almost dream-like. Both Bening and Bell were compelling to watch together with both giving emotional performances but as mentioned, it will be Bening’s award-worthy performance that will be most remembered.

Overall, this was a beautiful and emotionally-engaging love story, elevated by the performances of Bening and Bell.

Score: 9.5/10

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  • Jay

    September 10, 2017 at 10:23 AM

    Whoa, big score, hope they’re all this good!

    • Keith Noakes

      September 10, 2017 at 10:25 AM

      I’m a Bening fan.

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