★★★★★ | Gloria Bell
Julianne Moore is simply fabulous as a middle-aged woman going through the motions in the new film Gloria Bell.
Moore, who excels in every role she plays, is particularly good here in a film that is a remake of the 2013 film Gloria. With the same director, Sebastian Lelio, this Gloria is more nuanced and, with Moore as it’s lead (Paulina Garcia played Gloria in the original film, and won lots of awards), takes this version to another level.
Gloria is a 53-year old divorced woman living in Los Angeles. She’s an insurance broker with two adult children, one son who just had a baby with a wife who has gone away to ‘find herself’, and a daughter who is getting ready to move to Sweden to be with her boyfriend.
Gloria willingly attends singles events in the hopes of finding a new man; she’s very attractive and stable, so it should be easy for her to find a quality man.
She meets Arnold (John Turturro), who appears to be 100% available at the beginning of their relationship but somehow is tied to an umbilical cord to his two adult daughters, and leaves Gloria, literally, in situations she never thought she would find herself in. But nothing else much happens in Gloria Bell. We see her driving around and singing along to the radio, a cat that somehow keeps finding it’s way into her apartment, and an upstairs neighbor who is a bit schizophrenic. But it’s the grace and allure in which Moore plays Gloria that is both mesmerizing and alluring. Moore is very good in these types of small roles (see ‘Still Alice,’ ‘What Maisie Knew,’ and ‘Freeheld’).
She literally guides us through this film in one of her best ever performances. But it’s at the end of the film, where the camera is squarely focused on Gloria, who is a guest at a wedding. She gets up and dances with herself, a bit sad that she’s alone, but content, and dancing to the tune of Laura Branigans’ 1992 song ‘Gloria.’ It’s an image that lingers with you long after you’ve left the cinema.
Gloria Bell is now playing in UK cinemas
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.