Opening 22 Aug 2019
Writing credits: Alice Johnson Boher, Sebastián Lelio, Gonzalo Maza
Principal actors: Julianne Moore, John Turturro, Caren Pistorius, Michael Cera, Brad Garrett
Gloria Bell (Moore) is a middle-aged woman who loves to dance. By day Gloria leads a normal, nondescript life, she works for an insurance company, has two adult children with lives of their own and an ex-husband. By night Gloria goes out disco dancing, drinking martinis and looking for someone to share her love of dancing and perhaps her life.
One night Gloria and Arnold (Turturro) meet at the disco. Getting to know each other is the same at any age, from navigating the first date to falling in love. Their romance looks set to give both a second chance at having a life-long dance partner. However, life is not always normal and as expected, no matter how much a person wants it to be.
This is an English language remake of Sebastian Lelio’s 2013 movie, Gloria. Gloria Bell is about a fifty-something woman who is looking for her place in life as she deals with its inevitable progression. The role is a perfect platform for Julianne Moore, showcasing her acting skills fabulously. Keep dancing through life or find whatever makes you smile. (Christine Riney)
Gloria Bell takes a microscopic look into a vibrant 50s-something woman’s life, and in relationship to those around her, and herself. A divorcée, she maintains contact with her adult children (Caren Pistorius, Michael Cera)—“This is your mother calling”—as one falls in and the other out of love. In fact, whether friends, colleagues, customers, or acquaintances Gloria (Moore) is supportive. Gloria’s rhythmic lifeline is music and dancing, and fills the void in her life. Which bring her and Arnold (Turturro) together. Also divorced, he is captivated by her infectious laugh and lust for life. As their feelings deepen, one problem … actually three, become apparent and is Arnold’s Achilles heel. Just as, someone laughing all the time also sends a distinct message.
Sebastián Lelio remakes his Gloria, Chile’s 2014 Oscars® submission for best foreign language film, for American audiences. Julian Moore’s performance is the nuanced, appealing glue holding the film together. Nicely complimented by John Tuturo’s measured rendition of a dithering milksop; the cast is equally good. Soledad Salfate’s editing respects the tempo set by Natasha Braier’s inclusive cinematography that Matthew Herbert’s music lyrically sticks to.
The dramatic narrative slowly moves through oftentimes mundane, daily routines. Contrasting individuals interlocked because of bloodline or societal reasons gives the film its tension and resonance. But where is its verve? While Gloria Bell might be a standard-bearer for free-spirited, lustful guilt-free behavior for women after fifty, it calls into question that fine line between carefree independence and immature self-preoccupation. (Marinell Haegelin)