Gloria Bell cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Sebastian Lelio and A24 comes the story of a woman trying to find her place with GLORIA BELL.

Gloria (Julianne Moore) is a divorced 50-something woman who is trying to find her way. Escaping occasionally to dance at a local nightclub, it helps her deal with life. When she isn’t tripping the lights, she sees her daughter Anne (Caren Pistorius) and son Peter (Michael Cera).

On one of her dancing nights she meets Arnold (John Turturro) and there is a connection as they start seeing one another. What Gloria doesn’t understand is the mysterious relationship Arnold has with his two grown daughters but she lets it alone. Deciding its time for her own family to meet him, Gloria invites him to Peter’s birthday party.

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While there, Gloria’s ex-husband Dustin (Brad Garrett) makes Arnold feel as if he doesn’t exist so he sneaks away from the party. Upset beyond belief, Gloria won’t listen to anything Arnold says when he attempts to apologize.

She ignores his calls, ignores the flowers but the calls keep coming. After Anne leaves, Gloria gives in for a trip with Arnold to Las Vegas hoping they can get past any issues but it takes an instant for it all to change.

Now Gloria must decide whether to remain stagnant or remember that she can be everything and that includes happy!

Moore as Gloria has the serious chops to pull of this role. There is a vulnerability needed here to make this character believable and Moore gives it her all. Gloria is a woman who is trying to find her place in a world that doesn’t recognize her as a young woman any longer and doesn’t exactly embrace the number 50 when it comes to meeting a good man. Instead, she flounders with her family and the ability to let go adding a complicated relationship with Arnold. I just love Moore!

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Turturro as Arnold is a complicated character because from the beginning you are never quite sure where he stands with the way he deals with things. One moment he is completely happy with and the next he is tortured by family issues that he can not seem to ignore.

Other cast include: Sean Astin as Jeremy, Cassie Thomson as Virginia, Chris Mulkey as Charlie, Barbara Sukowa as Melinda along with Jeanne Tripplehorn, Holland Taylor Tyson Ritter and Rita Wilson as Vicky and I just love her spunk which is exactly what Gloria needs!

GLORIA BELL is a film that dives in the deep end of the complications that come with older relationships. Being divorced with a family is one thing but trying to also be with someone who also has a family brings in every complication you can imagine. Director Lelio doesn’t hesitate to tackle these issues head on no matter how messy.

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There is something about Moore’s portrayal of this character that brings about every range of the over-50 female experience. She is vulnerable, guilt ridden, lives slightly dangerously, reaches out to life only to pull back when it comes close and finds herself completely alone.

The music for the film is perfect but then again I found myself singing along with ease. Every song fit perfectly in the scene and working its way toward the end I would expect to see Gloria dancing madly!

In the end – this is her life.

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