Review: Gloria

Awarded ‘Best Actress’ in Berlin International Film Festival this year, Paulina García portraits the 58 year old Gloria facing a post divorce life change, the search for companionship, rediscovering herself and confronting her dark secret. The film is honest and affective.

The 4th film of the talented Chilean director Sebastián Lelio, “Gloria”, was one of the best films screened in Berlin 2013. The film is about a late middle age woman with her grownup children all left home, who doesn’t want to be alone after her failed marriage who decides to hang out at night clubs, drinking, gambling and giving herself another chance to meet men and to perhaps find the romance that she deserves.

Even though we don’t know what Gloria does in life to provide for her life and her nights out, and we can’t really see the urge why Gloria is putting herself on dating, but the character is an honest and attractive woman with a delightful sense of humor.  Very soon she meets a man, Rodolfo (Sergio Hernández), who is mature, warm, charming, fun and an exciting man for Gloria to spend time with and to go on an adventure with to explore her sexual desire.

Gloria falls for Rodolfo, they date and meet at a hotel like two young lovers and go on vacation together like two teenagers, but soon Gloria discovered that Rodolfo’s attitude has changed. He sometimes mysteriously disappears and acts strangely when everything seems to be alright. The passion, the affection and the frustration combined. How is Gloria going to deal with it and can she finally find the love of her life?

Paulina García, a 52 year old Chilean actress, has had a long and glorious movie, TV, theater career and actively involved in anti-domestic violence in Chile before this international acting breakthrough performance. Her Gloria is honest, charming and charismatically smart, which leads the audience to emerge in her life and pinch for her whatever she encounters.

“Gloria” focuses on the late middle aged women and men in the Chilean society today, is beautifully shot and poetically edited, directed and written by a team of filmmakers in their 40’s. The story happens in Chile but the story and the film shows that in our hypocrite world there is a young heart in everyone and gives hope to today’s late middle aged group of people around the world, a view of self research and self confirmation at a late age with no fear and full of life in love, and in sex.

– Shumaï Chou