3 November 2013 | A_Llama_Drama
Superb drama held together by the leading lady and director
"Gloria" is one of those rare films; a female lead film that doesn't deal in hysterics or cattiness. The eponymous heroine dives into life and all its glories and miseries with such gusto that it's impossible not to be swept away with her.
After 12 years of being single and dancing in single bars with men in their 60s, Gloria meets a nervous but lovely and loving man, Rodolpho. He's recently divorced and still largely involved in the lives of his ex-wife and their two daughters. Can Gloria, who's children are fiercely independent and whose only real relationship seems to be with her maid, overlook this gentleman's problems and find happiness? Paulina Garcia is so candid in her acting that at times I was just completely shocked by her realistic approach. Gloria wasn't a parody or morality tale, she was a woman. And a woman a lot like my mum. Having been single for so long and having built a life for herself, she struggled to let this man with his weaknesses into her life. Her scenes with Rodolpho and on her own contrasted so shockingly.
At times sad and at times happy but never melodramatic or hysterical, "Gloria" took a mature and beautiful approach to life after 50. The nuances and psychological differences between Gloria and Rodolpho were prevalent but never overplayed or preached to the audience. Her scenes between her children and her highlighted her role in their lives - she was free of their dependency and, although Rodolpho seemed desperate to have that in his life, Gloria was desperate to be more a part of theirs. The one scene in which both children are together at a birthday party with Gloria and Rodolpho gives the audience so much. Needless to say, the tension and energy created when Rodolpho comes face to face with the competitors for her affection is incredible and destructive and so very, very real. The beautiful photography around the dinner table creates a visual feast of anxiety, jealousy, love and pride.
I went to watch this film with my mum. That was slightly awkward. The film contains some serious sex scenes between two middle aged people entering old age. The degree of passion present in them also took me aback. I started to look at my mum a bit differently after this film...
Finally, you probably won't see a more euphoric end to a film. When Gloria gets up to dance to the disco stormer of the 80s named after her, you'll be hard pressed not to join in.
Quite possibly the most fun I've had at the cinema in a long time.