"Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool" Movie Review

"Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool" Movie Review

9 out of 12

Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool is sort of a clunky name for a movie. The film itself is also not quite as eloquent, but the movie's achievements far outweigh its flaws.

Many aspects of Film Stars are done very well. The back-and-forth nature of the narrative is seamless. The cinematography is well executed, sometimes even dream-like. And the score is tuned to perfection at all the right moments.

But the standout feature of Film Stars is...well...its leading film stars. Annette Bening and Jamie Bell absolutely dazzle on screen as the aging actress Gloria Grahame struggling to maintain her celebrity and her health, and the young man struggling with his immense love for her. Their performances are authentic and heartbreaking, leading to massive emotional payoff by the end.

What the movie struggles with is cohesiveness. Essentially, it feels raw in two ways: raw in the pure passion and talent poured into communicating a beautifully tragic story, but also raw in the sense that it's not as refined as it should be. There's something missing to pull it together properly, but if the only purpose for Film Stars was to be the stage for spectacular acting, I can't complain.

Acting and Casting - 2 | Visual Effects and Editing - 2 | Story and Message - 1 | Entertainment Value - 1 | Music Score and Soundtrack - 2 | Reviewer's Preference - 1 | What does this mean?

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