Gloria (Paulina García) is refreshing and complex. A 58 year-old divorcee, she’s neither a sexy cougar nor a dowdy grandmother; rather she’s intelligent, attractive and assertive. Gloria, a Chilean drama/comedy from Sebastián Lelio, opens and closes on similar shots of Gloria alone on a crowded dancefloor. Alone, not lonely.
Gloria’s still dating, becoming acquainted with weak-willed Rodolfo (Sergio Hernández), a man defined by the women in his life (his daughters). Gloria refuses to be similarly defined by men. Portrayed with subtlety and humanity by García, she’s a memorable character, but no saint: her focus on her own happiness regularly strays into selfishness.
Gloria lacks the confidence of its protagonist. Formally it’s occasionally clumsy – a number of scenes seem poorly focused – but my main quarrel was with the inconsistency of its identity. Numerous moments suggest deeper meaning – an hairless cat appearing in Gloria’s apartment; a glaucoma diagnosis that will cause her “field of vision to diminish”; and the way Gloria’s daughter cringes at the touch of her father. There’s a sense of purpose behind these moments that’s never realised. Nonetheless, Gloria is commendable for telling the story of a strong older woman establishing her own independence; a story too rarely told.
6 thoughts on “Gloria (2013)”
Great review. The flaws notwithstanding, I want to see this. Someday.
It’s definitely worth seeing; the two critics I saw it with both loved it to bits, for what it’s worth.
She started out strong, but then she became such an enabler. My thoughts: http://fastfilmreviews.com/2014/02/12/gloria/
I don’t know, I think Gloria and Rodolfo are equally to blame. Certainly he’s weak-willed and overly dependent on his family, but on the other hand she’s self-absorbed and, simply, selfish. The way she suggests a 10 day vacation and destroys his phone after his ex-wife is injured makes it clear that the relationship has more than one villain.
It’s an alright flick, if only because Paulina Garcia is so good here. Good review Dave.
Thanks – her performance is definitely the reason to see it.