Liz a Hollywood Life
With her mum insisting that she wants to be an actress, Elizabeth Taylor finds herself pushed in to the world of Hollywood with her mum tagging along to make sure she becomes a star. And a star she becomes from a young age and a determined one at that who goes all out to secure a role she wants. Whilst becoming a star she also gains plenty of interest from many a male suitor from those who would end up close friends through to disastrous marriages. But the price of fame takes its toll on Elizabeth's life especially in later life as she had to deal with illness and alcoholism.
Did you know that Elizabeth Taylor was born in England in 1932 and spent her first few years growing up in Hampstead, not moving the States till 1939? I wouldn't blame you if you didn't after watching "Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story" because the people behind the movie don't bother with those first 7 years and barely care to mention her connection to London. Yes you may take it that this admission annoyed me slightly but it was just one of various things which ended up bugging me when it came "Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story".
The biggest problem I have with "Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story" is that in turning the life of Elizabeth Taylor in to a TV movie, although in fairness it is a mini-series, they have hollywood-ized it. As such when her mother takes a young Elizabeth to see Hedda Hopper we have the cheesiest scene of her playing with a dog then looking over her should and saying a cheesy line. There are a lot more of these moments through out the movie and it makes "Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story" come across more like a work of fiction than a biopic about a movie star.
"Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story" has other issues and one of those is despite its long running time barely scratches the surface when it comes to her eventful life. Instead what we get is more a series of events in Taylor's life being dramatized with plenty of focus on iconic movie moments as well as her friendship to various stars such as Montgomery Clift and Rock Hudson. Although you will crack up when it gets to Cleopatra and the movie suggests that Elizabeth did her own make-up whilst Angus Macfadyen's take on Richard Burton is shall we say comical.
What this leads to is for me two good things about "Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story" and one of those is the look as director Kevin Connor and his team have done a good job of recreating the old Hollywood era of glitz and glamour. The other good thing is Sherilyn Fenn who not only captures much of the beauty and glamour of a young Elizabeth Taylor also looks ridiculously beautiful full stop. As for her take on the Taylor voice well at times it seems to be more Joan Collins than Elizabeth Taylor but once in a while she nails it and eerily so.
What this all boils down to is that "Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story" has some plus points especially the casting of Sherilyn Fenn. But it also has some negatives including the dramatization of Taylor's life ending up too Hollywood and lacking depth.