Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, the next Kitchen Stove Film Festival installment, is a biographical romantic drama that tells the story of a man falling for an aging Hollywood actress
The film, presented by the Penticton Art Gallery, features Annette Bening (20th Century Women, The Kids Are Alright, The Grifters) and Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot, Flags of Our Fathers) in an adaptation of the memoir by British actor Peter Turner, recounting his romance with the legendary (and legendarily eccentric) Hollywood star Gloria Grahame during the last years of her life.
The sultry Gloria Grahame won a best supporting actress Oscar for her performance in 1952’s The Bad and the Beautiful. She appeared in films alongside Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum, Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, and a bevy of other icons. Her star blazed brightly then faded quickly, but she did not disappear. How Grahame spent her later years is the subject of this rare ode to life after fame.
What starts as a vibrant affair between a legendary femme fatale and her young lover quickly grows into a deeper relationship, with Turner being the person Gloria turns to for comfort. Their passion and lust for life is tested to the limits by events beyond their control.
Bening’s portrayal of Grahame, pairs brilliantly with Jamie Bell, who breathes pure empathy into his role as Gloria’s lover Peter Turner, a working-class English actor. Drawing on Turner’s memoir of the same name, director Paul McGuigan fashions a moving narrative that embraces the high and lows of the erstwhile Hollywood star’s time spent living in Liverpool in the 1970s. Gloria is in her 50s, but her vitality and eccentricity leave Peter, who is decades younger, enraptured by this outrageous new force in his life.
From England to Los Angeles, from stage to hospital, and from laughter to tears movie-goers follow the couple and their showbiz love story.
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool will play at Landmark 7 Cinema Feb. 15. Pre-purchased single tickets are $13. A limited amount of tickets are available at the door for $15. Films are screened at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The Kitchen Stove Film Series is an initiative of the Penticton Art Gallery. Broadening the definition of the visual arts to include the medium of film, the series aims to inspire, challenge, educate and entertain while showcasing excellence in the cinematic arts.