Annette Bening, shockingly, doesn't have an Oscar, but the character she plays in the biopic Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool does. You just may not have ever heard of her: Gloria Grahame was one of Hollywood's go-to "femme fatales" during the era when film noir was all the rage. At her peak, she won the best supporting actress Oscar for Crossfire in 1947. Less then a decade later, however, her career would be in tatters. An obsession with the size of her upper lip led to questionable cosmetic surgery that altered not only her appearance but also her voice. Rumors spread that she was also "difficult" to work with.
She married four times: her final marriage was to her second husband's son. Yes, she married her stepson. When the news became public in 1962, the ensuing scandal lead to both more damage to her reputation and a nervous breakdown that necessitated electroshock therapy.
In Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool, however, all of that happens in the past. The film finds Grahame in her 50s and living in near-obscurity in Liverpool, England while dealing with serious health issues. It's during this time that she kicks off a relationship with a young local man nearly half her age named Peter Turner. The movie is adapted from Turner's memoir, Jamie Bell plays him in the film.
The film is being positioned as a possible Oscar contender for Bening, and by all accounts she's absolutely smashing in it. It's a role she says she's always wanted to play, but had to wait 22 years until she was actually the correct age for it. Though, she'll certainly have steep competition this year with competition in the form of Meryl Streep, Frances McDormand, Sally Hawkins, Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Judi Dench, Jessica Chastain—well, the point is that this might be one of the most packed Best Actress races in years. We didn't even mention the possibility of Nicole Kidman, Emma Stone, Kate Winslet, or Jennifer Lawrence nominations, either. Though, the state of the race seems to constantly be in flux. Bening could prevail if audiences take to the film.
The film is set for release in select theaters on December 29.
Actress Annette Bening Has Been Loving the Loudspeaker Emoji Lately: