|Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool|
British release poster
|Directed by||Paul McGuigan|
|Screenplay by||Matt Greenhalgh|
|Based on||Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool|
by Peter Turner
|Music by||J. Ralph|
|Edited by||Nick Emerson|
|Box office||$4 million|
Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool is a 2017 biographical romantic drama film directed by Paul McGuigan and starring Annette Bening and Jamie Bell, with a cast that includes Vanessa Redgrave and Julie Walters. It is based on the memoir of the same name by Peter Turner, which tells of his relationship with aging Academy Award--winning American actress Gloria Grahame in 1970s Liverpool and, some years later, her death from stomach cancer.
The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on 1 September 2017. It was released in the United Kingdom on 16 November by Lionsgate and in the United States on 29 December by Sony Pictures Classics. At the 71st British Academy Film Awards, it received three nominations: Best Actress (Bening), Best Actor (Bell) and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film was a box office flop, grossing $4 million against a production budget of $10 million, but received generally positive reviews.
In October 1981, Gloria Grahame is playing the role of Amanda in The Glass Menagerie in Lancaster and takes ill. She calls upon a former lover, Peter Turner, who reluctantly takes her to his parents' home in Liverpool to recuperate.
In media res, in 1979, in the twilight of her once-prolific and Academy Award-winning career, Gloria is playing a role of Sadie in W. Somerset Maugham's Rain in London and asks another tenant at her boarding house--Peter--to practice dancing disco with her. Gloria is flirtatious with Peter, who is also an actor. They see Alien together, have a drink together afterward, and strike up a friendship. After an argument, their relationship become intimate, despite their noticeable age difference.
In October 1981, Peter's parents' are still expressing support for Peter and Gloria's friendship. Peter and his parents acknowledge that Gloria needs more attentive medical attention for whatever is ailing her. However, Gloria insists that her illness isn't serious.
In 1979, Peter visits Gloria in Los Angeles and their romance continues at Gloria's modest Malibu trailer park home. Gloria's mother, Jeanne, demonstrates support for Peter and Gloria's romance, but Gloria's older sister, Joy, is hostile. Both encourage Peter not to marry Gloria, given Gloria's earlier and scandalous marriage to her former stepson Anthony Ray who was also significantly her junior. Peter and Gloria reveal to each other that they've both experimented with same-sex attraction.
In October 1981, once contacting Gloria's doctor in Lancaster, Peter learns that Gloria's breast cancer has returned after initial remission in 1975. Gloria has refused any further treatment. Peter eventually confronts Gloria with what he knows, but Gloria insists she'll get better. Peter reluctantly shares the prognosis with his family, Gloria's hosts. Peter confides in his friend Eileen that he still loves Gloria.
From 1979, Gloria and Peter's romance continues until the spring of 1981, and Peter spends time with Gloria in New York City, including a visit from Eileen. Gloria invites Peter to live with her in America full-time. However, shortly thereafter, Gloria suddenly cools to the relationship without explanation, distancing herself from Peter. Gloria kicks him out of her New York City flat, and he returns to Liverpool.
It is revealed that Gloria's sudden change of heart in New York City was driven by her learning that her cancer had returned. Her earlier refusal of chemotherapy in 1975 has contributed to the cancer's return. Her distance from Peter and keeping of secrets was because of ongoing tests and doctor appointments. She doesn't share this with Peter and instead hopes to drive him away as the cancer is diagnosed as terminal.
In October 1981, Peter struggles with his family on how to approach care of Gloria. As she becomes increasingly weak, Gloria decides to allow Peter to inform her family of her illness. Peter surprises Gloria by taking her to a theatre to read from Romeo and Juliet. They reconcile. Gloria's oldest son Timothy arrives from the U.S. to assist Gloria in returning home. Peter gently packs her belongings as Gloria sleeps. Gloria says goodbye to Peter and his family and departs for the U.S. They share a final kiss.
On 6 May 2016, it was reported that Annette Bening, Jamie Bell, and Julie Walters would star in an adaptation of Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool by Peter Turner, a memoir about Turner's relationship with actress Gloria Grahame in the last years of her life. Paul McGuigan would direct from a script written by Matt Greenhalgh, and Barbara Broccoli and Colin Vaines would produce. On 27 June 2016, Vanessa Redgrave joined the cast.
On 27 June 2016, the film began filming in Liverpool and London. It then moved to Pinewood Studios, where it wrapped on 8 August 2016. To fill in for scenes set in New York City and Malibu, California, the crew used rear-screen projections. On 11 November 2017, Elvis Costello released an original song entitled "You Shouldn't Look at Me That Way", composed specifically for the film.
Production company Eon Productions is best known for producing the James Bond film franchise; Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool was the first non-Bond film to be released under the Eon banner since the comedy Call Me Bwana in 1963.
In August 2017, Sony Pictures Classics acquired U.S. distribution rights to the film. The film had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on 1 September 2017. It also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on 9 September 2017.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 80% based on 166 reviews, with an average rating of 6.69/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Film Stars Dont Die in Liverpool showcases brilliant work from Annette Bening, whose performance is more than enough to outweigh this biopic's basic narrative." On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating to reviews, the film has a normalised score of 65 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipients||Result||Ref.|
|Hollywood Film Awards||6 November 2017||New Hollywood Award||Jamie Bell||Won|||
|British Independent Film Awards||10 December 2017||Best Actor||Jamie Bell||Nominated|||
|Best Casting||Debbie McWilliams||Nominated|
|Best Production Design||Eve Stewart||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Julie Walters||Nominated|
|San Francisco Film Critics Circle||10 December 2017||Best Actress||Annette Bening||Nominated|||
|London Film Critics Circle||28 January 2018||Actress of the Year||Annette Bening||Nominated|||
|AARP's Movies for Grownups Awards||5 February 2018||Best Actress||Annette Bening||Won|||
|Best Grownup Love Story||Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool||Nominated|
|Women's Image Network Awards||6 February 2018||Best Feature Film||Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool||Nominated|||
|Best Actress in a Feature Film||Annette Bening||Nominated|
|Evening Standard British Film Awards||8 February 2018||Best Actor||Jamie Bell||Nominated|||
|Technical Achievement||Eve Stewart||Nominated|
|Guild of Music Supervisors Awards||8 February 2018||Best Music Supervision for Film: Budgeted Under 10 Million Dollars||Ian Neil||Nominated|||
|British Academy Film Awards||18 February 2018||Best Actor in a Leading Role||Jamie Bell||Nominated|||
|Best Actress in a Leading Role||Annette Bening||Nominated|
|Best Adapted Screenplay||Matt Greenhalgh||Nominated|