Friday, November 17, 2017

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

“She was a big name in black-and-white films, not doing too well in colour,” we’re told near the start of Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. “Always played the tart.” Of course, there was a lot more to Gloria Grahame than that, but film biopics have an unfortunate habit of flattening out the complexities and inconsistencies of a person’s life to fit a familiar, simplistic template.

In the 1940s and ’50s, Gloria Grahame was involved in some of the greatest films of the studio era, winning an Oscar for The Bad and the Beautiful and being nominated for Crossfire. She had four marriages (including a notoriously tumultuous one with Nicholas Ray), and her insecurity about her looks led her to undergo a series of damaging plastic surgery procedures. Paul McGuigan’s film, however, is interested in just two things: her late-in-life romance with a much younger man, and her sad decline as she finally succumbed to cancer.

Read the rest of my review at Little White Lies