Gloria Bell (Julianne Moore) is a lonely divorcee who shuttles between her son and daughter in a bid to feel connected to their lives. Losing herself both on the dance floor and in casual flirtations, she is a woman adrift. That is, until she is approached by Arnold (John Turturro). Similarly divorced, he seems to have the depth that she’s looking for, however people always come with baggage…
...Julianne Moore manages to make mundane Gloria even more magnetic.
Director Sebastián Lelio’s English language remake of his Chilean movie ‘Gloria’ is a sure-footed comedy / drama about growing old and trying recapture love.
Told in a series of fragmented scenes, Gloria’s life is presented as a cumulative snapshot. Seemingly divorced from more than just her past, all her kindly acts seem to be rebuffed by fate. With life always holding her at arm’s length, Gloria feels like a lost soul – and this is where the film might also leave you feeling the same way.
A slim tale, slightly told, ‘Gloria Bell’ doesn’t have much melodrama to speak of. With no real spiky or abrasive incidents with which to hook you in, it is a movie without tension. Instead, ‘Gloria Bell’ simmers with detail and in a lesser actress’s hands this would definitely fall flat. However Julianne Moore manages to make mundane Gloria even more magnetic. Orbited by John Turturro and a strong supporting cast, Moore delivers yet another classic portrait of a life lived in descent. Sadly locked inside such an undramatic offering, her plight as with the story, quickly dissolves into a feel-good remake with melancholic aspirations.
Lacking the advancing dread of Kent Jones’s ‘Diane’, the quality acting here is the only thing that saves ‘Gloria Bell’ from becoming chocolate box confection. Decidedly more mainstream than magnificent, ‘Gloria Bell’ is a cinematic night-out that will shine for very audience that it features, but like its peripheral life, it also flirts dangerously with the same boredom it wishes to avoid.
See ‘Gloria Bell’ for Julianne Moore’s acting, but see ‘A Fantastic Woman‘ for Sebastián Lelio’s real masterpiece.0