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Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (2016)

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This documentary by Fisher Stevens and Alexis Bloom only gained further poignancy with the literally unbelievable deaths of the film’s beloved mother-daughter movie star protagonists within 24 hours of each other in December. A combination of interviews, filmed sequences of their everyday interactions with each other and family and friends, public appearances, awards ceremonies, archive inserts and movie excerpts illustrates a fragile period in Reynolds’ life and Fisher’s own attempts to deal with it as her next-door neighbour and devoted daughter. Fisher’s searing and humorous honesty about mental issues that first surfaced when she was 13 and were probably grossly exacerbated by drug use still has the power to disturb. Funny, sad, vastly entertaining, this has nonetheless a chalky undertaste of past dysfunction, marital abuse and a blackly comic worldview. That’s showbiz! Fantastic.

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About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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