Gloria Bell Review
by Crystal Yakel-Kuntz
From the Oscar Award winning director Sebastián Lelio comes a new film that examines development of self and all its complexities. The film’s titular character, Gloria (Julianne Moore), has lived a life like many of us that is seemingly mundane in its day-to-day wear, but simultaneously, entirely complicated by the relationships we build. These complications include a flexible relationship with her ex husband (Brad Garrett) and his new wife, a close and yet tenuous relationship with her grown children, and a budding relationship with a new love interest, Arnold (John Turturro). Each of these people in Gloria’s relationships carry unique burdens and joys that fill Gloria’s life with love and strife.
In the first act of the film, the audience becomes familiar with Gloria and has the opportunity to see her in many different spaces and in relationship with many different characters. Although we spend much of the time in the film understanding Gloria’s relationships, we spend just as much time alone with Gloria as she becomes the Gloria of her fifties. The diegetic music of the clubs Gloria visits, and the radio of her car, that she boisterously sings along to, becomes its own character as it directs the emotional nuance of Gloria’s decisions to become herself outside of her relationships.
One of the most beautiful relationships of the film is the relationship between Gloria and her mother (Holland Taylor). Though seemingly cliched to start, their relationship makes itself known as the plot develops to demonstrate the care and love they have for one another in their older years.
The heroine’s quest for Gloria, though impacted largely by the nuanced love in her relationships, is most greatly defined by a journey of self-love. Gloria Bell is a well composed reflection on the complicated nature of becoming ourselves continually and unconsciously. In finding Gloria, we have a film experience that allows us to think about finding ourselves.
Gloria Bell is now playing in theaters!
Gloria Bell Quotes
Gloria: “He made a GUN with a TAMPON.”
Arnold: “They’re never worried about me. It’s a really lonely feeling and I don’t want you to have to experience that.”
After an argument with Arnold, Gloria’s boyfriend…
Arnold: “Is Gloria there?”
Friend (Rita Wilson): “No, she’s in the bathroom and it’s gonna take a long time.”
Gloria: “I can’t believe you said that!”