Gloria

Gloria-Sebastian_Lelio-CartelThis is the Chilean film starring Paulina García as the eponymous heroine. She is a hero in a sense, though not in the usual term in which the word is used. Gloria is an older woman, divorced for a dozen years or more, who embarks on a new lease of life. The spark for this new Gloria is a chance meeting with another older person, Rodolfo, at a nightclub. They quickly begin an affair and Gloria begins to blossom again. Alas, not only is Rodolfo married, but he resolutely intends to stay with his wife. Much of the storyline of the film is about their doomed relationship. Gloria keeps hoping that she can persuade Rofolfo to leave his wife, but Rodolfo wants his cake and to eat it as it were.

The other storyline is Gloria’s relationship with her own grown-up children. The son is married with his own child, while her daughter is about to announce that she is pregnant. The father is from Sweden and she intends to move there. Gloria also tries to keep on relatively good terms with her ex and his new wife, Flavia.

This is quite an unusual film in that there few highly charged dramatic moments. Rather the film centres on Gloria herself. It is her ups and downs which hold the film together. The everyday strains and pleasures of keeping life going, balancing work, love and family as a single, older woman. While she does get some support from her grown-up children, she basically has to work things out on her own. When the relationship with Rodolfo finally breaks down she is at first extremely distraught. But she recovers and the film ends with her singing joyfully the lyrics of the song Gloria, at a lively party. Life is hard, full of knocks, but I must go on. A positive end to a bitter sweet film. Gloria is beautifully and expressively acted by Paulina García, while Sergio Hernández is excellent as the not very likeable Rodolfo. The support cast are all very good. Directed by Sebastián Lelio, this is a highly recommended film.

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