Movie Review: ‘Beyond the Lights’

November 13, 2014 9:29 AM

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Movie Review: ‘Beyond the Lights’

Viewers who can get beyond that overly familiar and, more often than not, irritating bit of conventional wisdom about the captivity of fame can sidestep the standard trappings of the genre and relax and enjoy Beyond the Lights, a romantic backstage drama a bit too anchored in its own comfort zone but sparked by two appealing lead performances.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who starred in Belle but hadn’t yet shot it (and was thus essentially unknown when she was cast in Beyond the Lights), plays twentysomething Noni Jean, who was a rhythm-and-blues pop star in England and seems to be on her way to superstardom in Hollywood.

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