The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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Free of visual or narrative embellishments, Gloria Bell rests almost completely on Julianne Moore's performance in the title role -- and she's gloriously up to the task.
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All Critics (79)
| Top Critics (29)
| Fresh (76)
| Rotten (3)
You can see Gloria's bad decisions coming from across the street, but it doesn't matter: The pleasure of "Gloria Bell," whether or not you've seen "Gloria," is watching Moore wrap herself in the role like a soft shawl.
"When the world blows up, I hope to go down dancing," Bell tells her friends at one point. And mark her words, even when it all falls apart, dance she does.
A movie that says the stories of average women deserve to be told, as do the stories of people who grapple with big challenges but still face each day with hope and wonder.
Because of Moore's open-hearted, captivating portrayal of the title character, repetition won't be a drawback for those who've seen Gloria. She makes the role her own with brio and woman-power strength.
I often wish Lelio's movies were a little longer, messier and a little less tidy, and that's true of "Gloria Bell," too. But what's there is shrewd, engaging and a sturdy actors' showcase.
"Gloria Bell" wavers between realistic drama and tender comedy, which makes for an uneven but never uninteresting mix.
While the movie might not be necessary, Moore's performance surely is.
Moore delivers a naturalistic performance that looks so effortless you know it's not. A three-dimensional character without the need for 3D glasses; what will they think of next?
Gloria is an authentic representation of real women and the type of woman many aspire to be.
This is Julianne Moore's movie all the way.
The great Julianne Moore gives Gloria another spin and I say, Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough.
He's the rare director possessing the knack and insight to tell beautiful stories about women of all sorts. He does it again.
ANOTHER FANTASTIC WOMAN - My Review of GLORIA BELL (4 Stars)
I never saw GLORIA, writer/director SebastiÃ¡n Lelioâ(TM)s Chilean original from 2013, and I was no fan of his last feature, DISOBEDIENCE, but hereâ(TM)s a filmmaker who has so far dedicated himself to exploring the lives of some wonderful women. GLORIA BELL, his American remake, has made me a fan, with Julianne Moore putting in an unforgettable performance as a lonely, divorced, middle-aged woman who literally finds her voice by learning to love herself.
Whatâ(TM)s not to love? When Gloriaâ(TM)s not singing along to 70s and 80s hits in her car (AIR SUPPLY! OLIVIE NEWTON JOHN!), she dances her nights away at some disco for the older crowd which Iâ(TM)m sure does not exist in LA! At first, I thought the film was set in the early 80s until we see Gloria on her iphone at her insurance actuary job. She has a couple of grown children who no longer need her, a remarried ex-husband, and a group of friends who all have partners. Whatâ(TM)s a single gal to do?
The obvious storytelling solution would be to have her meet her dream man and live happily ever after. Lelio, however, has more smarts than that. Yes, she meets a man on one of her nights out named Arnold (a soulful, complicated performance by John Turturro), but he has issues of his own which prevents this from becoming a fairy tale. Think AN UNMARRIED WOMAN, the great Jill Clayburgh vehicle, but with more music and a sharper, more nuanced look at what a single woman experiences. Or think LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR without the judgment and the knife stuff. Although often comedic, GLORIA BELL takes a serious look at its titular character.
Lelio favors an elliptical style, presenting Gloriaâ(TM)s life in little snippets. Almost completely devoid of Oscar-baiting showy moments, the film instead stays laser focused on Gloriaâ(TM)s ever-shifting moods and thoughts. We learn so much from her micro-expressions rather than through overwritten, self-righteous monologues, which have historically been the methods used in films of this ilk. Lelio clearly respects his audience as well by allowing so much to happen off camera or out of frame. No need, for example, to see a drunken suitor (Sean Astin in a small yet fascinating turn) fall off a merry-go-round when we can stay on Gloriaâ(TM)s face and merely hear his body go âthumpâ? offscreen. Itâ(TM)s this approach which forces the audience to live right there with Gloria, every step of the way.
You canâ(TM)t help but empathize with this woman who endures her loud apartment neighbor, a stray cat hellbent on home invasion, and a life which has seemingly passed her by and left her for dead. Youâ(TM)ll thrill to the tiny yet believable baby steps Gloria takes to get to the point where she lives her life out loud. Lelio undercuts her one big showy moment in the film by involving a ridiculous prop as her revenge motif. It keeps the movie grounded and unpretentious. By the time you reach the perfectly calibrated final scene, you just may want to join Team Gloria. Moore, an actor incapable of giving a bad performance, wowed me here. Gloria feels like someone you either know or want to know. Sheâ(TM)s awkward, sensitive, and a little out of step with the world. Sheâ(TM)s vividly real. Sheâ(TM)s the opposite of an LA phony and if thatâ(TM)s not worth celebrating, then take away my Laura Branigan records and send me back to Ohio.
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