11 August 2014 | willcundallreview
First Chilean film I have seen, and pretty good
Gloria is a comedy drama that has a deep emotional level running right through it, and also a great advertisement for Chilean film. With a strong lead performance(winning awards in the process), and writing and directing not seen in the mainstream, of course until now, Gloria is just a strange celebration of life but also shows what some go through even when they live fairly well. I felt it was strongly a pretty good movie, and here below is why so.
The story as said is a deep level of personal emotion and delves straight into the life of Gloria, the whole story basically revolves around her and her day to day life but also her love life and all that comes with it. At times it can be a little funny if not quite dark humour actually, the funniest parts I would say are toward the end and you will see why but this movie never tries to make you laugh, just watch in wonder at Gloria's life.
Paulina Garcia as Gloria is very good, I can see just why she won many accolades for her performance and she commands the role in a graceful yet oddly powerful way. I also enjoyed Sergio Hernandez as Rodolfo, he as well as Garcia commands his character and so when you think back on who gave a great performance, these two really stick out. I liked the way it didn't need massive names to attract attention, it never wanted it but I can see why it got it(and it's good attention).
Sebastian Lelio directs and co writes this with a fair bit of ease and even when the film can seem slow and arduous, he comes up with something to bring more life to it, it's as if he kills and then straight away brings back to life. Sometimes it could be said due to the subtitles that it is hard for the emotion to fully come across, I did feel it just a little but by the end you should be at the same level of emotion as the characters involved.
My main criticism is it's dull parts, to a hardened critic of straight drama and art house international type work this will seem a walk in the park but for me it has those slightly duller moments which all together, affect the movies score. When you finish you may feel as if "I didn't enjoy that too much but there isn't much to poke holes at" and it is true, very little is wrong other than occasional dullness.
If you think this is a Romcom then think again, it isn't about the romance as it is about Gloria struggling to find everything she wants and what she has to deal with day to day. It is a good piece of international work and receiver of many nominations, so if you are looking for a kind of indie made award winner then here you have it.
Overall it is Fairly Good and although I didn't think it was just Good, it is very close to being so. I will add that this film is well timed, doesn't overstay it's welcome and lets you enjoy what is has to offer. Maybe the word enjoy is not the word to connect this movie and the audience, a critique for the audience is what it is, showing as previously said many times now, a snapshot of Gloria's life and what she has,wants and gets, just a pretty good drama piece.