Tag Archives: foreign language


26 Feb

Hats off to Sebastián Lelio for making a movie like Gloria. Films about divorced 50-something women looking to find their later-year footing don’t get made in Hollywood, which is why Gloria was made in Chile. And it’s a departure from Hollywood’s past attempts. Under the Tuscan Sun‘s fantastical whimsy that magically yields romance and revelations about life is something Leilo has no interest in. An Unmarried Woman, which starred Jill Clayburgh back in the ’70s, is a closer comparison, but even that’s a far cry other than offering a strong, liberated woman as the main character. In Lelio’s film, Paulina Garcia’s Gloria lives a simple unfulfilled life in Santiago as an office worker, filling her flat, unexciting role without the prospect of any upward mobility. She’s also formerly married and a mother. But now that her children are grown and embarking on their own adult lives, she’s lonely — manless with no discernible passion.

But Gloria’s not into self pity, nor does she pander for attention. Her most admirable quality is that she’s a quiet doer and willing to take chances. Most of her forays are singles meetups for middle-agers where other dislocated souls seeking second acts drink and dance to retro-pop. It’s at such an event that she meets the stately Rodolfo (Sergio Hernández) who has the commanding charisma of Marcello Mastroianni minus the looks. He’s charming enough and runs an amusement park where he takes Gloria for some aerial thrills and paintball target shooting. The pair engage in some pretty lusty and graphic carnal interludes which might cause some younger viewers to blush or look away — it ain’t pretty, but it is passionate.

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