Gloria Bell (Sebastián Lelio, 2019)
What’s this all about?
Gloria Bell looks for a second chance, both movie and character.
Gloria Version 2.0
There is some sort of arrogance in remakes. A producer or director watches a movie and decides to film it again because, hey, he’s sure he can do better than that. Productions like Let Me In or Nine Queens would be deemed unnecessary if audiences and cinemas were not so afraid of and judgemental towards movies that don’t come from Hollywood.
Remaking your own movie—that’s a different matter. Masters of cinema like Ozu and Hitchcock did it as well, so why can’t Sebastián Lelio?
The Chilean director revisits the movie that made him a renowned director in the art house scene and puts Julianne Moore in its centre. Even though Paulina García was brilliant as the original Gloria, the Academy Award-winning actress gives such a tour-de-force performance in here, you would think Sebastián Lelio has always conceived the story for her.
If Gloria Bell, the movie, gets a makeover, then Gloria Bell, the characters, also wants to reshape her life. Even though reality will disappoint Gloria several times, the movie is never relentless to her; in fact, it makes its titular character a strong and ideal woman that overcomes obstacles with grace and level-headedness. Julianne Moore plays our heroine under Lelio’s direction with intimacy and sex appeal, proving to Hollywood that a woman’s allure is not lost once she turns 50.
Gloria Bell is an exquisite drama about the adversities in life, but, above all, is a showcase for Julianne Moore that will delight all of her fans—or anyone with good taste, for that matter.
Have you ever felt like killing that bastard who deceives you time and time again? Well, Gloria had the pleasure of shooting him—in a symbolic way, at least. It is a childish behaviour but to a childish man.
Bang, bang, you’re dead.
When the world blows up I hope I go down dancing
Those who prefer great performances from iconic actors over plot development.
Some Other Stray Observations
Sebastián Lelio has never been very subtle with his song choices, has he?
Good companion pieces
The also beautiful and delicate Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her (2000), by Rodrigo García, went straight to TV in the U.S.A. Luckily, these days movies with a fifty-year-old woman as protagonist not only get a cinema release, they also have an commendable box office run.
Julianne Moore laughs, cries, dances to 70s music, sings 80s hits in her car, plays paintball and attends laughter therapy classes, among other stuff.
I was elated.
MVP (cast who’s not Julianne Moore)
Lelio has assembled quite a lovely cast of talented but overlooked actors. John Turturro might be the MVP because he has the most screen time, but also because he plays first the love interest and then the major asshole with incredible ease.
Whether it’s in an 80s-themed nightclub, during a breezy sunset or in a luxurious hotel in Las Vegas, Natasha Braier’s cinematography always sets the right tone.
Why am I watching this?
Considered to be one of Julianne Moore’s best performances.
I actually haven’t watched the original Gloria.
For Your Consideration
Best Movie - Best Remake - Best Director: Sebastián Lelio - Best Performance by Julianne Moore - Best Supporting Actor: John Turturro - Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Role: Holland Taylor - Most Baffling Cameo: Sean Astin - Best Cinematography: Natasha Braier - Best Editing: Soledad Salfate - Best Score: Matthew Herbert
Directed by Sebastián Lelio | 2019 | USA, Chile
Main cast: Julianne Moore, John Turturro, Michael Cera, Caren Pistorius, Brad Garrett, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Rita Wilson, Sean Astin, Holland Taylor, Barbara Sukowa, Tyson Ritter