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"GLORIA"--A MOVIE REVIEW

Tuesday, February 18, 2014




GLORIA--CHILE/SPANISH FILM WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES--MOVIE REVIEW



'Gloria' is a woman's movie about and for woman. It is not Hollywood's version of a stunningly gorgeous woman who can't get a man or an old woman with Alzheimer's. Gloria, played gloriously by Paulina Garcia, is every woman. After 12 years of divorce, her ex (Alejandro Goic), remarried to a younger woman, in her late middle age with two grown children who don't have the time to give her that she wants, working what looks like a decent job which affords her the service of a housekeeper Luz (Coca Guazzini), goes to dance bars, where middle aged people hang out, because she likes to dance.

She talks with a few men leading to nowhere when she meets Rodolpho, played by Sergio Hernandez, recently divorced with an ex-wife and two daughters who lean on him for everything. He recognizes her vibrancy, makes his move and they go to bed embarking on a romance. In the sex scenes, and with the frontal nudity, we see a couple whose bodies are not toned, sun-tanned and glowing but the bodies of older people who try to keep fit but are unable to stop Mother Nature. Rodolpho readily admits that he has had gastric by-pass surgery and wears a girdle to keep the loose skin hidden but takes it off to show Gloria all of him.

We meet Gloria's family, as does Rodolpho, her single parent son with a boy, Pedro, played by Diego Fontecillia, her daughter Ana (Fabiola Zamora) a yoga instructor who is going to Sweden to marry her boyfriend, her ex with his wife, at a birthday party for Pedro. Being involved with her family she doesn't realize that Rodolpho has disappeared.

They eventually get together after visiting his amusement park where Gloria lights up bungee jumping and learning how to shoot a paint ball gun, and she learns how to use that paint ball gun for revenge.

Gloria doesn't fair well in the older middle age 'meat market' but she is never a defeatist and you can see it in her face, particularly in a glorious version of 'Gloria' from 'Flashdance' when she knows she can be picky because she doesn't need a man but wants one.

Paulina Garcia is a complete and worthwhile discovery for an American audience. There is a radience about her that when in one scene it is discovered she has glaucoma and, just for a moment all the light goes out of her. She gives a standout performance.

The director, Sebastian Lelio, who co-wrote the screenplay with Gonzalo Maza gives a picture of Chili in broad strokes showing the people, the country and the politics. He certainly seems to know women and maybe men going to see this 'woman's' picture will learn a thing or two.
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PDQ1203 2/23/2014 7:20AM

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