Obviously, the documentary ‘Bright Lights’ was finished way before both Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds both passed away at the end of December. And even more obvious will be the fact that HBO’s showing of it will add poignancy to the film. You already know you will cry after seeing this movie, but you will not realize you will be hit so hard by it.
‘Bright Lights,’ directed by Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens tells a lot of stories: it is a story of a mother and daughter who have a very complicated and loving relationships, as most mothers and daughters do. You can sense the affinity here, from Fisher bringing a cake for her mom when she isn’t feeling well. This film is also a story of a showbiz family, of how they operate similarly and much differently than regular families – I am sure when you and I were kids we did not have to deal with paparazzi waiting for us at our gates because our father started sleeping with the woman who lives next door. This film is also about resilience – of how performing feeds Debbie Reynolds the energy to keep on going. I have seen Reynold’s nightclub act and however one feels about her singing, you cannot help but be charmed by her stage persona and star presence. Very few actresses nowadays posses such glitter and charm.
It looks like Reynolds have been suffering health problems lately, and Fisher’s death probably just pushed her over the edge. Judging by their very close relationship, you can see how that was triggered. I loved this film, as it gives a glimpse inside the lives of these wonderful people, and now that they are gone, one just appreciates the value of what we have all lost.