Friday night saw the world debut of Paul McGuigan’s “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool,” based on the memoir by Peter Turner. The story of Turner’s relationship with aging screen legend Gloria Grahame from 1979 to her death in 1981, it’s certainly a familiar tale. But what Sony Pictures Classics honchos Michael Barker and Tom Bernard had in mind when they acquired it ahead of the festival circuit was finally netting that elusive first Academy Award for Annette Bening, who stars as Grahame opposite Jamie Bell as Turner.
Bening has come close on multiple occasions, infamously losing twice to Hillary Swank (in 2000 and 2005). She’s probably due for a fifth nomination, playing