I used to be on the fence about Julianne Moore. Her career felt a little irregular to me, and she was never the reason I decided to watch a movie or not - until I saw Still Alice. Let alone the fact that it is one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen. (Who needs horror movies when there is a film about an intelligent, successful woman - not so - slowly losing her mental capacity and forgetting who she is?) The linguistics professor Alice Howland is also Julianne Moore’s best performance - a performance that changed my mind about her work. And then she stars in Gloria Bell… Let me tell you, not even Julianne Moore can save the movie.
Gloria Bell is supposed to be a film about a free-spirited, relatable woman facing real life and looking for joy with strength and grace. It is, in fact, yet another movie about a woman whose life and happiness fluctuates depending on the presence (or literal disappearance) of a man. Gloria is an interesting person, a competent professional with a good job, two grown-up kids and good friends. And yet, what guides the movie and her life is her relationship with recently-divorced Arnold (John Turturro, from Quiz Show and O Brother, Where Art Thou?), a man who clearly has much less to offer than she does.
The movie is a remake of Sebastián Lelio’s 2013 film Gloria. The Chilean, who also directed the remake, is known for Disobedience and for the 2018 Best Foreign Language Oscar winner, A Fantastic Woman. Maybe the original film had more to offer, but Gloria Bell does not deliver the courageous and nuanced point of view that Lelio’s previous movies led us to expect.
- Lalu Farias