Gloria Bell: Film Review

If you want a feel-good film this week then you should check out Julianne Moore in the wonderful Gloria Bell. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The film, the English-language remake of Sebastian Lelio‘s 2013 film Gloria, follows Gloria Bell (Moore), a middle-aged divorcee who finds love. One night, while out dancing in a nightclub on her own, she meets recently divorced Arnold (John Turturro) and they begin dating. But the course of love never did run smooth, as they say, and the film follows its ups and downs.

That plot doesn’t sell it very well and makes it sound quite boring – but you haven’t met Gloria. This is a character study starring the most wonderful person. She’s alone but she’s not lonely, she’s empowered, she’s a sexual being and that’s not frowned upon, and she feels like a real person. You want her to be happy, to find a man to treat her right and to not feel defeated by life.

Moore is fantastic. There were some moments when I was in awe of her performance. I really felt for Gloria and backed her all the way. Turturro put in a fine, suitably shy and awkward performance. They are supported by Michael Cera and Caren Pistorius as her children, Rita Wilson as her friend and Holland Taylor as her mum.

The script is realistic as hell and the characters are so well rounded. I liked watching Gloria go about her day and the development of her relationship with Arnold, but the last 10-15 minutes took it to a whole other level. It made me so happy I was full on beaming and yet it also brought a tear to my eye. If I was watching at home I’d replay that last section so I could experience it again. The film took some unexpected turns so I had no idea where it was going to end up and it was better than I could have imagined. I must also mention the soundtrack – it is full of solid retro hits that reflect Gloria’s life – and I enjoyed them so much.

Gloria Bell is delightful, heartwarming and life-affirming. Go see it.

In selected cinemas from Friday 7th June

Rating: 5/5

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