Sebastián Lelio’s Chilean import Gloria is a bittersweet character study of an adventurous fiftysomething divorcée attempting to start over. At this point we’ve all seen enough films about women of a certain age trying to get their groove back (The Bridges of Madison County, Waiting to Exhale, the collected works of Nancy Meyers), but Lelio’s film is different. It’s a more honest and sexually frank look at romance and loneliness than Hollywood tends to crank out. Paulina García plays Gloria — a fearless, funny mother of two grown-up kids whose busy lives don’t really include her anymore. The closest thing she has to a companion is her neighbor’s hairless cat, who keeps wandering into her apartment as if to say, ”Let’s face it, we both know you’re going to die alone…” But Gloria refuses to give up. Hiding behind big red-framed glasses and a haze of cigarette smoke, she ventures out to singles bars, where she gets dizzy on red wine, dances with abandon, and shoots come-hither glances at middle-aged men who, like her, have forgotten how to flirt. One of them is Rodolfo (Sergio Hernández), an older, more reserved man who hasn’t cut the ties to his marriage but is awakened by Gloria’s free spirit and voracious appetite in bed. The leads give subtle, poignant performances that stick with you. And if Gloria’s reaction to Rodolfo’s slights isn’t entirely convincing, both actors still manage to show something we rarely see on screen: the heartache and happiness that come with love late in life. B+
GLORY-A Paulina Garcia shines in this beautiful portrayal of a middle-aged woman getting back out there.
Genre: Drama, Comedy; Starring: Paulina Garcia, Sergio Hernandez; Director: Sebastian Lelio; Runtime (in minutes): 110; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Roadside Attractions
Posted January 31 2014 — 12:00 AM EST
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