Chilean director Sebastián Lelio's forth film, Gloria, tells the story of a divorced woman in her late 50s who isn't ready to give up on life or love but has set her expectations a tad lower than they might have been a decade earlier. When we meet Gloria (Paulina Garcia), she’s living alone and going out dancing every night, causally hooking up with rather disappointing older men. When she meets Rodolfo (Sergio Hernández), she beings to imagine herself in a happy relationship again. Lelio's subtle and observational style enables Garcia’s indelible spirit to permeate every frame of the picture. This is one of those movies you go see because the lead performance is so rich, open, and authentic. She draws you into her world effortlessly and your sympathies are instantly allied with hers. Unfortunately, the picture’s oppressive tone overpowers its minimalist narrative.  As captivating as Garcia is to watch on screen, this story of late-in-life rebirth is stillborn. With the recent surge of excellent American independent movies about the lives and libidos of middle-age women, this European picture comes off a little lacking in complexity. The title also makes for inevitable comparisons to Gena Rowlands and the films she made with John Cassavetes in the ‘70s and 80s. I have no doubt that Garcia could play roles as rich and layered as Rowlands, but, as a film, this Gloria left me feeling that the actor, the character, and the audience deserved more than we got.

Directed by Sebastián Lelio
Produced by Pablo Larraín, Juan de Dios Larraín, and Luis Collar

Written by Sebastián Lelio and Gonzalo Maza

With: Paulina García, Sergio Hernández, Diego Fontecilla, Fabiola Zamora, Luz Jiménez, Alejandro Goic, and Liliana García

Cinematography: Benjamín Echazarreta
Editing: Sebastián Lelio and Soledad Salfate

Runtime: 110 min
Release Date: 09 May 2013
Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1