Last year’s Best Actress race was stacked with fantastic performances, including Annette Bening’s stellar turn in 20th Century Women. Although Bening didn’t take home the statue, she may have a shot again this year with her role as silver screen icon and Oscar-winning actress Gloria Grahame. You can sneak a peek at Bening’s performance in the first trailer for Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, which co-stars Jamie Bell as Bening’s younger lover.

It’s nice to see a film that eschews the agonizingly typical romance between an older man and a younger woman. Here, Bening plays an aging Grahame who begins a love affair with a younger neighbor, played by Bell. That relationship grows more contentious and complicated when Grahame takes ill, and the trailer escalates from a simple romantic story to a far more compelling drama — and one that seems to indicate that Bening may very well be back in the running for an Oscar again this year.

Here’s the official synopsis for the film:

Based on Peter Turner’s memoir, the film follows the playful but passionate relationship between Turner (Bell) and the eccentric Academy Award®-winning actress Gloria Grahame (Bening) in 1978 Liverpool. What starts as a vibrant affair between a legendary femme fatale and her young lover quickly grows into a deeper relationship, with Turner being the person Gloria turns to for comfort. Their passion and lust for life is tested to the limits by events beyond their control.

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool was directed by Paul McGuigan, a guy whose most notable previous films include Lucky Number Slevin and Wicker Park (the latter of which is somewhat underrated, I think). His latest work looks like it may be his best to date, thanks in no small part to Bening’s performance.

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool also stars Vanessa Redgrave, Julie Walters and Stephen Graham, and hits select theaters on December 29.

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