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TIFF 2018 Review: “Gloria Bell” (2018) ★★★★★


When I first heard about the remake of Sebastián Lelio’s magnificent “Gloria” with Paulina, I was a bit upset, but when the following news emerged that Lelio himself will be remaking his own piece for the English-speaking audience, that cooled down my fear a bit. But after the announcement of Julianne Moore taking over Gloria’s part, I was certain nobody in Hollywood would be able to match Gloria’s charm more than Miss Moore.

Gloria (Julianne Moore) is in her fifties. She has done an amazing job raising her two children, (Michael Cera and Caren Pistorius), and being a grandma is not something that fits into her future plan. Every day she goes to the same club to dance, and of course, to find someone who can help her to not feel lonely at nights and maybe even more than that. Then she meets Arnold, a divorcée man who appeared to be Mr. Right, whose ex wife and his children are still heavily dependent on him day and night.

One thing you will learn about Gloria – she wants a life free from drama. She dances, enjoys her life and does not mind keeping it that way. The only creature allowed to disrupt her self-chosen loneliness is the neighbor’s cat that keeps coming to her apartment all the time. And having figured out Gloria’s personality, you can tell no one else can ever attempt to bring chaos to her life except herself.

What I liked about “Gloria Bell” is how Sebastián Lelio did not even try to change her a bit. While he made her Speak in English and become an American, these are the only changes you will see in her, if you have seen the original. But of course, that would not have been possible if not for the perfect cast in the face of Julianne Moore, who not only embodied Gloria, but allowed her to live in the silver screen without hesitation or shame.

That said, Gloria is not that easy a character to portray. It’s a nuanced role of a woman who needed special treatment. Moore, through her outstanding performance, helped Gloria to be reborn and aim for heights that’s leading in only one direction – up.

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