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Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (on-screen title is simply Bright Lights) is a 2016 documentary about the relationship between entertainer Debbie Reynolds (in her final film appearance) and her actress/daughter Carrie Fisher.[1] It premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and on January 7, 2017 on HBO.[2][3]

Bright Lights
Directed by
Produced by
  • Alexis Bloom
  • Todd Fisher
  • Julie Nives
Starring
Music by Will Bates
Cinematography
Edited by
  • Penelope Falk
  • Sheila Shiraz
Production
company
Distributed by HBO
Release date
  • May 14, 2016 (2016-05-14) (Cannes)
  • January 7, 2017 (2017-01-07) (United States)
Running time
95 minutes
Country United States
Language English

A few weeks before the film's premiere broadcast, both Fisher and Reynolds died. On December 23, Fisher went into cardiac arrest and succumbed four days later, while Reynolds had a severe stroke from which she died on the following day, December 28.[4]

Contents

ProductionEdit

Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens directed the film, while Brett Ratner and Sheila Nevins served as executive producers on the film under their RatPac Documentary Films and HBO Documentary Films banner.[5] According to USA Today the film is "an intimate portrait of Hollywood royalty ... [it] loosely chronicles their lives through interviews, photos, footage and vintage home movies... It culminates in a moving scene, just as Reynolds is preparing to receive the 2015 Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, which Fisher presented to her mom."[6]

ReleaseEdit

The film had its world premiere at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival on May 14, 2016.[7] It was also screened at the Telluride Film Festival on September 3, 2016 and at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival on October 14, 2016.[8] It went on to screen at the New York Film Festival on October 10, 2016[9][10] and the AFI Fest on November 13, 2016.[11]

The documentary was to premiere on HBO in March 2017,[12] but after the actresses' deaths in late December 2016, the network announced that they were reconsidering the air date.[13] The decision was subsequently made to air the premiere on HBO on January 7, 2017.[14]

ReceptionEdit

Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds received critical acclaim. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% approval rating, with an average rating of 9.1/10, based on 48 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds is a touching, bittersweet, and ultimately charming love story that serves as a poignantly effective tribute to the strangely complicated, uniquely resilient mother/daughter duo."[15] On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 85 out of 100, based on 25 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[16]

David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review writing: "If the film is as disorderly in its structure as the messy family history it surveys, time spent with these wonderful subjects makes that seem sweetly appropriate."[17] David Ehrlich of Indiewire also gave the film a B, writing: "On a similarly sweet note, “Bright Lights” outlines the mutual resentments between Fisher and Reynolds, but is also happy to let sleeping dogs lie. If anything, Stevens and Bloom are fascinated by how well-adjusted their relationship appears to be, mother and daughter living next door to each other without ever tipping into 'Grey Gardens' territory. They’re still so close, despite everything between them."[18] Fionnuala Halligan of Screen International also gave the film a positive review writing: "This touching love story - with each other, the past, and the camera - has clear appeal, to 'Old Hollywood' fans, to Star Wars followers, to voyeurs in general."[19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Carrie Fisher reflects on mother Debbie Reynolds’ legacy in HBO doc Bright Lights". Entertainment Weekly. May 23, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2016. 
  2. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (December 28, 2016). "Inside Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher’s Upcoming HBO Documentary: ‘It’s a Love Story’". Variety. Variety. Retrieved December 29, 2016. HBO will carefully consider the appropriate timing given the tragic developments 
  3. ^ de Morales, Lisa (December 30, 2016). "HBO Moves ‘Bright Lights’ Debut In Wake of Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds Deaths". Deadline.com. Retrieved December 30, 2016. 
  4. ^ Wong, Julia (December 29, 2016). "Debbie Reynolds dies one day after daughter Carrie Fisher". The Guardian. London. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  5. ^ Gerard, Jeremy (May 13, 2016). "HBO’s Docu ‘Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher And Debbie Reynolds’ – Cannes Video". Deadline.com. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  6. ^ Ryan, Patrick (December 29, 2016). "What we know about Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds' HBO documentary". USA Today. McLean, Virginia. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  8. ^ Hammond, Pete (September 1, 2016). "Telluride Film Festival Lineup: ‘Sully’, ‘La La Land’, ‘Arrival’, ‘Bleed For This’ & More". Deadline.com. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds". New York Film Festival. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  10. ^ Nolfi, Joey (August 24, 2016). "New York Film Festival: Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds documentary Bright Lights joins lineup". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds". AFI Fest. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  12. ^ Griffiths, Kadeen (December 29, 2016). "Where To Stream The Debbie Reynolds & Carrie Fisher Documentary 'Bright Lights’". Bustle.com. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  13. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (December 28, 2016). "Inside Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher’s Upcoming HBO Documentary: ‘It’s a Love Story’". Variety. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  14. ^ Romano, Nick (December 30, 2016). "Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds documentary Bright Lights premiering in January". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 30, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds". Metacritic. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  17. ^ Rooney, David (May 14, 2016). "'Bright Lights: Starring Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher': Cannes Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  18. ^ Ehrlich, David (May 14, 2016). "Cannes Review: ‘Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds’ Is a Touching Mother-Daughter Documentary". Indiewire.com. Retrieved December 30, 2016. 
  19. ^ Halligan, Fionnuala (May 14, 2016). "'Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds': Cannes Review". Screen Daily. Retrieved December 30, 2016. 

External linksEdit