Gloria Bell is eventually invigorating. “Eventually” usually has a negative connotation, but not in the case of Sebastián Lelio’s movie. After all, the search for one’s identity isn’t going to be easy.
Gloria Bell is a film that casually figures out the meaning of life for its title character, played marvellously by Academy Award winner Julianne Moore (Still Alice). Gloria is a lonely woman who tries to find her calling through various groups, clubs, and public functions. The film, virtually plotless, is a day-to-day study on Gloria. We meet her family, who seem to have themselves put together even if they’re living an eccentric life, and we meet her friends who are about as blissful as Gloria is. Men are still a strange species for Gloria though. She finds herself opening up to interested suitors, only to be let down by them.
For as spacey as Gloria Bell sounds on paper, the film is rich in epiphanies about allowing yourself to live as the best version of yourself. Adapting from his original Chilean-Spanish film Gloria, writer/director Sebastián Lelio (A Fantastic Woman, Disobedience) creates a bohemian feel-good film that avoids manipulation and phoney emotions. Leilo, along with his cast of strong actors, find genuine beauty in quiet reflections. Some of those moments even help build towards the film’s immensely satisfying and upbeat finale that will make you want to join the film’s celebration.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie