Critic Reviews



Based on 34 critic reviews provided by
There is no denying the emotional force that this film develops, and for that, we can credit talented filmmakers and two stars working at the height of their powers.
It’s a minor-key tale by any measure: a May-December romance played out in the fading shadow of Old Hollywood glamour. But it also has the benefit of a thoughtful script, sensitive direction, and leads gifted enough to breathe fresh air into nearly every moment.
It’s a beguiling story and Bell and Bening are tremendous as the star-crossed lovers.
Screen International
Although there’s certainly a lot going on on screen, our attention is focused on Bening’s central performance.
It’s a classy weepy with some killer dialogue, but Bening is the big sell here. Given one of the juiciest roles of her career, she makes every moment count.
While Bening is incredible playing a fading Hollywood starlet in Paul McGuigan’s Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool, it’s her co-star, Jamie Bell, who might be the film’s real secret weapon.
Over-production-designed as the film is, Bening and Bell manage to hold their own within it.
While Bening does a studied impression of Grahame’s supple body language, she uses a light touch when recreating her Betty Boop-esque voice, letting Grahame’s seductiveness ooze from her gorgeously refined pores.
Slant Magazine
The film shows no interest in the inner workings of a relationship that’s defined by unusual circumstances.
Eventually so generic that it might as well be about anyone, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool creates a foul tension between the paint-by-numbers quality of its approach and the uniqueness of its affair.

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