Mother/Daughter: Hollywood StyleThe bittersweet and timely HBO documentary “Bright Lights” about Debbie Reynolds and her extraordinary relationship with daughter Carrie Fisher was screened last night at the Palm Springs International Film Festival to a sold out audience.
Even though HBO decided to air it recently (months ahead of schedule) due to the tragic untimely deaths of both women, I enjoyed watching it on a big screen with director Fisher Stevens there to talk about the film and answer questions at the end. Debbie Reynolds lived in Palm Springs and had circumstances turned out differently then Carrie Fisher would have been in attendance at the screening.
It’s still shocking that only one day after Carrie died, her mom, the dancer who rose to stardom in Singin’ in the Rain and earned an Oscar nomination for The Unsinkable Molly Brown died at 84 with so much life ahead.
Still, the show must go on
The documentary which was filmed over the course of 2014 and 2015, and ends with Reynolds receiving the 2015 SAG Awards Life Achievement award was touching, funny and very candid. Even with her frail health towards the end, Reynolds was a real trouper not ready for retirement. The private family film clips from early on are entertaining and you get more than a little glimpse into the world of this legendary talented Hollywood family including Reynolds marriage to singer Eddie Fisher and references to Elizabeth Taylor. Carrie Fisher and her brother Todd have wonderful singing voices too.
“Sometimes you can only find Heaven by slowly backing away from Hell.” ― Wishful Drinking (an autobiographical humor book by Carrie Fisher, published by Simon & Schuster in 2008 based on her one-woman stage show).