Gloria review: can you handle the truth?

Get new reviews in your email in-box or in an app by becoming a paid Substack subscriber or Patreon patron.

Gloria green light

MaryAnn’s quick take…
A smart, incisive portrait of a woman who lives life on her own terms and doesn’t let herself get pushed around.
I’m “biast” (pro): a movie about an older woman? hooray
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Gloria is smart, funny, and stylish. She’s got lots of interesting friends and an active social life on the Santiago singles scene. She’s fifty-eight years old, and romance and sex are what is on her mind. Can you handle that truth? Chilean TV actress Paulina García is a revelation in this festival favorite (and Chile’s official submission for the Foreign Language Oscar) as a woman who lives life on her own terms and doesn’t let herself get pushed around… especially not by her new beau, Rodolfo (Sergio Hernández), who can’t seem to decide whether he’s actually divorced or not. It shouldn’t be that a woman like Gloria and a bittersweet dramedy about her life are so exceptional onscreen, but while we don’t even think twice about a 50something dude as a romantic lead, we barely get the chance to consider their female peers in the same cinematic realm. So by mere dint of his chosen subject, writer (with Gonzalo Maza) and director Sebastián Lelio has given us something fresh and unexpected. (For pure movie-movie fun, it also features another of the great film cats of the moment.) And yet there’s no hint whatsoever of gender politics in this delightful film: this is simply a glorious — heh — character portrait of a vibrant person whom it’s a joy to spend time with.

viewed during the 57th BFI London Film Festival

see also:
Gloria Bell movie review: an (extra)ordinary woman

share and enjoy
If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, please reconsider.
If you haven’t commented here before, your first comment will be held for MaryAnn’s approval. This is an anti-spam, anti-troll, anti-abuse measure. If your comment is not spam, trollish, or abusive, it will be approved, and all your future comments will post immediately. (Further comments may still be deleted if spammy, trollish, or abusive, and continued such behavior will get your account deleted and banned.)
notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
view all comments
Mon, Feb 03, 2014 6:38pm

Definitely looking forward to this. I sometimes feel that the really effective message films are the ones that don’t scream out their message, they’re the ones that just say “yeah, I’m a person too, I also have a story to tell”.

Mon, May 05, 2014 8:13pm

I really liked Happy-go-lucky. Is this in a similar vein?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  David
Mon, May 05, 2014 10:12pm

Sort of.