There are many a nit that can be legitimately picked in this flawed picture but the quality of the performances ain't among them. Bell and Bening consistently thread the dramatic needle, hitting all the right emotional beats without every dipping into the sappy melodrama this film's staging and scoring seems hell bent on becoming. Their work alone could warrant a fourth star.
I enjoyed the Committed performances that are somewhat undone when you realize where it's going in the sappy 3rd act! The more fascinating story would of course been her marriage to Ray and her stepson which is mentioned here only in passing. Bizarre screenwriting 101 decision 101, folks!
A minor blip of a film that really doesn't provide much in the terms of cinematic achievement. It's a lovely little story, but it's done in a way we've seen before - a washed up actress falls in love, develops an illness, and dies a tragic death. Without the sensational performance from Annette Bening this wouldn't pack an emotional punch at all and would be very forgettable.