29th Mar2019

‘Gloria Bell’ Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Julianne Moore, Alanna Ubach, Michael Cera, Sean Astin, John Turturro, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Brad Garrett, Holland Taylor, Rita Wilson, Caren Pistorius, Cassi Thomson, Tyson Ritter, Chris Mulkey, Barbara Sukowa | Written by Alice Johnson Boher, Sebastián Lelio | Directed by Sebastián Lelio


Gloria (Julianne Moore) is a free-spirited divorcée who spends her days at a straight-laced office job and her nights on the dance floor, joyfully letting loose at clubs around Los Angeles. After meeting Arnold (John Turturro) on a night out, she finds herself thrust into an unexpected new romance, filled with both the joys of budding love and the complications of dating, identity and family.

Gloria Bell, directed by Sebastián Lelio, is a remake of Lelio’s own film (merely titled Gloria), which was originally released in 2013. This remake is a gratifying and moving picture, almost as if auteur Denis Villeneuve had directed a romance, with leading actress Julianne Moore – in the role first played by Chilean superstar Paulina García – putting forth a beautifully compelling performance with gravitas and grace as the titular character.

There is something beautifully elegant about this picture from Lelio that feels so authentic and raw. It showcases an honest accurate outlook on loneliness and self-acceptance in this strangely conventional albeit abstract venture that stuns. Gloria Bell herself is such a wonderfully charismatic and loveable character with so many small subtle quirks that make you fall in love with her with absolute ease. Moore embodies this character with a terrific performance embodying such a down and out character that is still incredibly independent and vibrant. The juvenile and stubborn behaviour alone is so infectious and giddy with how it’s constructed and ultimately conveyed by Moore herself. Conveyed in an honest evolution and growth. Moore is an actress that empowers such a compelling craft in the subtle nuances of character throughout her filmography and here is no different. Managing to captivate you with any and all emotion. One minute you’ll be devastated and the next gleaming with a smile, perfectly balanced with the screenplay of the film by Alice Johnson Boher and Sebastián Lelio that does wonders in how it evokes emotional resonation.

The cinematography and soundtrack are equally as to the performances, poetic and captivating in outstanding execution. The former by Natasha Braier is magnificent to behold. It is quite frankly outstanding to just gaze at throughout in such a captivating awe-inspiring manner. It’s truly magnificent in each and every sequence that develops, admittedly catching yourself taking in the mise-en-scene more so than the material at hand. Although the way the film is framed with dominating medium close-ups you’re always glued to the character and their emotions. The use of colour and lightening are magical. There is a certain gleam to the image that evokes a sense of mystical nature. It feels out of worldly almost with magnificent authority.

Gloria Bell is out now in the US. The film comes to UK cinemas on June 7th 2019.


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