unterstützt von

English/with English subtitles
All languages
My location via GPS

Gloria Bell

GLORIA (Julianne Moore) is in her mid-fifties and divorced for 12 years with two almost adult children. She tries to confront the loneliness that is slowly creeping into her life.


Sebastián Lelio‘s US remake of his own film GLORIA (Chile 2013) is about a woman in her mid fifties who has been divorced for 12 years and has two almost adult children who tries to confront the loneliness that is slowly creeping into her life. In the 1950s this story would be staged as a big, colorful, heart-rending, and hopeless melodrama. Lelio decided to use antique pink and muted bars in a more ordinary tone, somewhere between depressed disgruntlement and absurd comedy. It‘s not as if Gloria can‘t get by at all. Her days are filled with work, calls, visits from her children, conversations with friends and colleagues, and she goes dancing in the evenings when she has time. She keeps throwing out the cat that repeatedly sneaks nto her apartment. Gloria is determined not to become a “cat lady.“ But you can tell that depression is looming not far away and that the facade isn‘t so easy to keep up. When Gloria meets Arnold, who is also divorced, at the disco, new doors seem to open. But soon enough she begins to suspect that a relationship with Arnold isn‘t a good idea.

Julianne Moore is fantastic as Gloria, of course. The light but constant tension of getting by on her own is inscribed all over her body. A recurring scene of her driving to work is symptomatic of Gloria‘s attitude towards life. Her shoulders are lightly raised, her hands are firmly on the steering wheel, she‘s fixated on the street while unevenly belting out big hits from the 70s and 80s. “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, “Love is in the Air”, “Never Can Say Goodbye”, “Alone Again (Naturally)”. It‘s not Moore‘s first role in which she plays a woman who is almost suffocating from her daily life while always upholding the facade of the (house)wife who is fighing for an inner life. In Todd Haynes‘ SAFE (1995) she was the hypersensitive Carol White who keeps withdrawing into an allergy-free void till she disappears to an igloo in the desert. In the 50s pastiche FAR FROM HEAVEN (2002), also directed by Haynes, she plays housewife and mother Cathy Whitaker, whose love for her black gardener fails due to societal conventions. In Stephen Daldry‘s THE HOURS (1995), also set in the 1950s, she plays housewife Laura Brown who falls for her female neighbor.

Moore inhabits these women with a volcanic force that can erupt at any time. Daldry, Haynes, and Moore stroke sparks while showing the contrast between repressive society and an inner life – which could be an all-encompassing depression. In Lelio‘s film the drop height is lower, the friction surface is smaller, the conflicts are less dramatic, and Moore dims her inner excitement to a minimum. In the present, it seems, a woman like Gloria has all the options. A new beginning could be possible at any time. Despair would be inappropriate, a revolt would almost be impossible. Against what? Those who are lonely in their mid fifties have themselves to blame and letting yourself down is the worst offense, that seems to be the mantra that Gloria has internalized. Instead of burning beneath the surface, she bravely keeps glowing, dancing and singing while battling the void. She indulges in small outbreaks, but they feel as transgressive as New Year‘s table fireworks. Life must go on and will go on. The film sees that as an optimistic message, but I‘m not so sure about that.


Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: Gloria Bell
USA/Chile 2018, 102 min
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance Films
Director: Sebastián Lelio
Author: Sebastián Lelio, Alice Johnson Boher
DOP: Natasha Braier
Montage: Soledad Salfate
Music: Matthew Herbert
Distributor: SquareOne
Cast: Julianne Moore, John Turturro, Sean Astin, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Barbara Sukowa, Michael Cera, Rita Wilson
Release: 22.08.2019




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

Die Inhalte dieser Webseite dürfen nicht gehandelt oder weitergegeben werden. Jede Vervielfältigung, Veröffentlichung oder andere Nutzung dieser Inhalte ist verboten, soweit CINEMATIC BERLIN nicht ausdrücklich schriftlich ihr Einverständnis erklärt hat.