Showbiz Drama Beyond the Lights Is Familiar But Cutting 

November 13, 2014 10:12 AM

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Tales of fame and its trappings — and the way they're never enough to build a life — are as old as show business itself. Maybe for that reason, almost any story about discovering the hollowness of fame is written off as a cliché. But what's the difference, really, between cliché and convention? Sometimes the most seemingly conventional stories are the best tools for digging into knotty, everyday truths.

Gina Prince-Bythewood's Beyond the Lights is a deeply satisfying crowd-pleaser about a young singer, Gugu Mbatha-Raw's Noni, who's on the brink of superstardom but isn't particularly happy about it. A few days before her debut album is set to drop — and just after she's won a Billboard Award for a s...

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