Gloria Bell

Julianne Moore is terrific in Sebastian Lelio’s American remake of his own Chilean film, Gloria, from 2013.

The Hollywood version comes with its own oomph, and it’s interesting to see how star wattage alters one’s perception of basically the same movie. Moore is just as good, though very different to, Paulina Garcia, who played Gloria the first time around and won Best Actress at Berlin for her performance as a still-vital woman in her 60s, looking for love on the Santiago singles scene.

Moore’s Gloria Bell is in LA, going out dancing to disco classics and shouting along to power ballads on the car radio on the way to her job selling insurance. She lives alone, visits her son (Michael Cera) and new baby grandchild occasionally, as well as her yoga-teacher daughter, occasionally. 

She strikes up a new relationship with John Turturro, who’s also great here, a man with many problems, including a new gastric band which has made him lose loads of weight but which means Gloria has to rip off a velcro corset around his tummy when they have sex. He’s also struggling to get out of his marriage. Or maybe he’s simply cheating.

It’s what the film’s about, Gloria’s delusions and dreams, and Moore’s amazing at capturing every fleeting emotion. It’s wonderful character study, this film, and masterclass performance, flitting between hopeful and hopeless, with moments of cringe-worthy comedy and bitter pain. I loved it.