Annette Bening and Jamie Bell vividly bring to screen the romance between Hollywood icon Gloria Grahame and her much younger lover.
In 1981, decades after she rose to fame in Hollywood, the Academy Award-winning star of The Bad and the Beautiful, Gloria Grahame (Bening), is treading the boards in a modest theatre production when she collapses in a hotel. Her health failing, she reaches out to former lover, Liverpudlian actor Peter Turner (Bell) who takes her back to his family home and the care of his sympathetic mother, (Julie Walters). Memories of their grand affair soon come flooding back.
Adapted from Turner’s own memoir by Scottish director Paul McGuigan, this consummate study of a truly extraordinary relationship is filled with humour, passion, and insight, effortlessly capturing the connection – both emotional and physical – between the pair.
Flying in the face of the ‘fading star’ epithet, Bening eloquently portrays a woman who will not compromise her professional ambitions or her desire for personal happiness. Jamie Bell, revelatory in this role, is more than a perfect match in what is a bracingly romantic and irresistible love story.
There is a tremendous warmth and tenderness to this sweet, sad love story.