Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool reviews

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Precious Doll
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Re: Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:03 am

Being a huge Gloria Grahame fan, I naturally read Peter Turner's Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool when it was first published about 30 years ago. From memory it was an amusing and poignant portrait of the very human side of a Hollywood icon.

I culled my book collection earlier this year and needles to say I kept this book. My partner wasn't sure if he'd read the book or not so he settled down for a quick read (it's a very slim book) as we knew we were going to a screening pretty soon and I did want his feedback in relation to the film adaptation as my detailed memory of the book is rather vague.

For some bizarre reason I seem to recall some if it was flashbacks to the 1950's which is absurd as it is told totally from Peter Turner's perspective and he didn't know Gloria Grahame back then (he was only born in 1952).

Can't say I was disappointed in the film given it's rather poor/mixed reception at best. The casting was effective. Couldn't think of anyone better than Annette Benning (not a favourite of mine by any means I should add) and though I had thought the casting of Jamie Bell somewhat ridiculous it was only because I haven't seen him in anything for years and still think of him as a teenager. Anyway he certainly has grown up and is completely appropriate and effective, like Banning, in the limitations of the film. They do have great chemistry together, I also got a good sense of why Gloria Grahame had been married 4 times.

Hence lies the problem - the film itself. It has a mediocre screenplay by Matt Greenhaigh (who has written the splendid Control and Nowhere Man - liked by many but not me I'm afraid). He never captures the turmoil which in the book is presented in that classic British comedy style going on within Peter Turner's family - it's reduced to hand ringing, shouting and rigid speeches. I do remember that the Julie Walters mother character is the book was very colourful, but she is reduced to little more than a plot device within the film.

A lot of the films failings lie with director Paul McGuigan. I recall The Pianist stating in another post something along the lines that Paul McGuigan is a shit director and has never made a good film and sadly that is true. He brings nothing to the film and the whole thing feels like little more than going through the motions. There is no vision. I appreciate it was clearly made on a low budget but imagination and genuine creativity can overcome those sorts of limitations. Paul McGuigan simply does not posses them.

This was pretty much dead in the water Oscar wise once the reviews came out and seeing it for myself I can only concur with that. It's such a shame because it's such a great little book and I do feel that all books & plays have the capacity for great films in the right hands. Annette Benning & Jamie Parker deserved a better film to showcase them to their full potential in the roles and most of all Gloria Grahame's final years deserved a much better film that I fear will never come to fruition. A lost opportunity.
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Re: Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:17 pm

Gleiberman's catty reviews are becoming insufferable. Between this or his review of Victoria and Abdul, you'd think he was still writing for Entertainment Weekly.

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Re: Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:18 am

The Gleib's review is closer to those many Twitter reactions than the previous reviews have been.

http://variety.com/2017/film/reviews/fi ... 202545719/

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Re: Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:45 am

It's odd how this hasn't got widespread trade reviews yet; I guess Telluride is so jammed with screenings that Variety/Screen Daily -- with their main critics over in Venice -- can only cover so many of the scheduled movies, and this one had low priority.

There seemed to be some murderously bad tweets for this last night, from semi-legit sources, but so far no printed reviews have matched that venom. (On the whole, there seems more distance this year between the critics and the blogger/pundits -- Downsizing was far less favorably received at Telluride than it had been at Venice.)

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Re: Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:35 pm

I'm not expecting anything outside of acting nods, but it does seem to have the potential of 3 of them - Bening for sure; Bell and Walters if the best actor and supporting actress categories remain weak.

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Re: Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:43 pm

"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Re: Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:28 am

Very favourable from Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/s ... ia-grahame
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Re: Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:14 am

Scott Feinberg is not a critic. He is an, ahem, Oscarologist, often one of the most annoying of the on-line Oscar predictors. Stephen Farber, on the other hand, is the current president of L.A. Film Critics Association. It will be interesting to see which one has more sway with Oscar voters.

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Re: Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:18 am

"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:51 am

"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.


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