Review: Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

3 years ago
Stacey Waters

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool takes its story from the book of the same name, by Peter Turner – who recounts the time he spent with former Hollywood starlet Gloria Grahame in the 1970’s. The film follows the same plot – but from the point-of-view of both characters instead at times, as opposed to simply Peter’s. The plot is a simply one of boy meets girl, they fall in love and tragedy rips them apart.

The cleverness of this film however is that it manages to overcome the normal bore and cheesiness that accompanies films of this genre. Instead of a sappy love story – the audience is instead treated to a genuine story of love and acceptance, and the friendships that are built within relationships.

The entire cast excels in their roles, notably Jamie Bell as the titular character of Peter Turner. Bell throughout is full of character and warmth – all of his actions towards the character of Gloria Grahame earnest and genuine, effectively charming both the audience and the characters within the film. Likewise Annette Bening as Grahame is just as impressive. Bening perfectly encompasses the character, an aging Hollywood star that still radiates the pouty, pin-up brand that she would have once represented.

This is not a film that debates the almost thirty year age gap between the two main characters, or has anyone trying to keep them apart – instead Peter Turner’s family treat Gloria as though she is one of the family, and she wishes to spend her final time with them in Liverpool.

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool is a film that radiates levels of honesty and friendship – only for the briefest moment focusing on the obvious age difference between the two leading characters – instead the film focuses upon the love shared between them and the trust and sincerity that developed, a feeling that the audience will deeply resonate with.


Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool is screening in selected cinemas now.



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