Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens, 2016): US

Fisher Stevens, mainly known for his role as Dr. Puttnam in the thriller Awake, moved yet again to the bigger screen to direct a documentary called Bright Lights: Starring Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. This documentary is a beautiful story about the beginnings of Debbie Reynolds and as her life develops out of stage and Carrie as the narrator. Her daughter, Carrie Fisher, a famous actress mainly known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, she helps us unfold their survival in showbiz. This story unwraps with the difficulty of age in the media. It shows the challenges Debbie was facing as she was not able to perform like she used to when she first began. Stevens, guides us through their life now after the bright lights. It touches with their personal life including the story of her first husband Eddie Fisher, the problem they encountered through his troubled life in the drugs, along with Carrie’s experience with substances as well.  As a family, you always want to be there for each other, and help one another as needed and that is when we see Carrie taking care of her mother.

Reynolds was a molded product of studio system, always remembered as Kathy Selden in Singing’ in the Rain while her daughter fell into the drug world that came along the Hollywood fame. Over a footage of her in euphoric spirits on the Great Wall of Chine in 1988, she defines her two moods “Rollicking Roy,” and “Sediment Pam,” who stands on the shore and sobs. Her acceptance through her troubled past made the documentary more interesting because it showed that she was able to move on from it and continue on with her life.

Often through the eyes of Reynold’s we can see how her bad choices in husbands, has affected their kids’ life. There is a clip where her son, Todd Fisher, gives us a tour of his home with hung picture of her mother’s career including one of her failed marriage with whom he left his mother for, Elizabeth Taylor. Stevens also includes her stubborn refusal to retire, schlepping off to play a Vegas lounge even when she can hardly stand. Watch the documentary in HBO and experience their life through this fascinating story.

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