When you are younger, life is always full of possibilities as the road in front of you seems so long. As you age and that road becomes shorter and shorter, as things end you tend to feel the walls of time closing in around you. Being myself in the middle age range, I feel I can speak to both of these points in life and feel it could only get worse as you get older. Gloria Bell feels like it is speaking to me directly in some sense even though I am not a middle aged woman who has gone through a divorce and who loves to dance. No, it’s more like it speaks to me with the overall theme of the story, where I think so many of us has been our own version of Gloria at some point in our life.
Who is this Gloria you might ask? Well, Gloria (Julianne Moore) is an insurance agent by day and a dancing diva by night. Like most single people, she puts herself out there, trying to find that one person to share her life with. Her’s consists of two kids, whose life she is actively in, a loud upstairs neighbor, and a cat that is not hers who somehow finds its way into her house every night. She decides to add one more thing when she meets Arnold (John Turturro) whom she dances the night away with and eventually starts to date. Arnold seems nice and even though he comes with the baggage of his ex and his two over barring daughters, Gloria likes him. Things go so well, Gloria takes Arnold to her son’s birthday where Arnold meets her kids and her ex-husband, but something happens that leaves Gloria questioning her choice and sets her on the path of rediscovery, all to the perfect soundtrack .
Gloria Bell is a reimagining of director Sebastían Lelio’s 2013 film simply titled Gloria. Unlike most times when a film is remade, Lelio is also behind the camera on this one as well and with Alice Johnson Boher adapting Lelio’s original screenplay. Make no mistake about this, Gloria Bell is Moore’s film through and through and she takes ownership of it from the opening scene of the movie, everyone else is just a character in her world. Moore electrifies every time she is on the screen, and the moments when it is just her and the camera is when the shines the brightest. The story is one of hope, showing that no matter where you are in life, or the direction it takes, you can always pick yourself up and dance the night away. Besides Moore being so perfect, the thing that really sets the tone of the movie is the use of music and sounds that set the mood for what you are seeing. Having been a fan of the original, I think you always have to go into something like this with guarded expectations, but because of the performances and the things they do right, Gloria Bell doesn’t miss a step from it origin. So put on your dancing shoes and I promise by the end of the film you too will be singing “Gloria”