The Chilean film "Gloria" is clearly something different than what we’ve come to expect from Hollywood. It’s about a woman in her 50s. She’s not a supporting character. She’s in virtually every scene in the film.
Paulina Garcia turns in a remarkable performance in the title role. (She won the best-actress prize at last year’s Berlin Film Festival for it.)
Opens Friday at the Broadway; rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity, drugs and drinking; 110 minutes; in Spanish with English subtitles.
Gloria has been divorced for a decade. She goes out. She dances. She gets along pretty well with her adult children. She tries yoga. She sings along to the radio in her car. She has a boring job. She has to deal with a crazy neighbor and a hairless cat that keeps getting into her apartment.
And Gloria allows herself to fall in love — and into a sexual relationship with a man her age.
That’s something you rarely see in American films. Even more rare: nudity and sex scenes with actors in their 50s.
Gloria is far from perfect. Her new boyfriend, Rodolfo (Sergio Hernandez), is even less so. He insists he loves Gloria, but he hasn’t entirely cut the bond with his ex-wife and he’s bullied by his adult daughters — a situation that leaves Gloria frustrated and alone.
You can’t help but like Gloria. Her life isn’t easy, but you don’t feel sorry for her. Except, perhaps, when she has to bid farewell to one of her children, who’s leaving to live in another country. And, without words, Garcia and director Sebastián Lelio make you feel her pain.
It’s impossible not to get tied up in her story.
"Gloria" is not some sort of epic romance. It’s sort of a slice of life of a woman who quietly and with determination plows ahead, tries to make the best of her situation — and, occasionally, takes matters into her own hands.
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