Cert 15 102mins Stars 4
Julianne Moore negotiates the perils of middle-aged singledom in this intimate portrait of self-discovery in the latest drama from writer and director Chilean Sebastian Lelio, and is an English language re-imagining of Gloria, his 2013 film.
Gloria is a middle-class insurance agent with an unremarkable existence which Moore brings to life with a combination of charm, sensuality, fragility, vulnerability and rising fortitude.
Her new boyfriend is a slack bag of weakness with commitment issues which allows a marvellous John Turturro to demonstrate his versatility and wonderful lack of vanity.
The cast also includes Jeanne Tripplehorn, Rita Wilson and Michael Cera, with each offering understated excellence at awkward family gatherings where new beaus meet former spouses and adult children.
It’s hard to tell where on the scale of great-to-brilliant Moore’s performance lies, partly due to her having seemingly played similar roles before, and also because she’s required to repeat everyday snapshots of life, such as feeding a cat, and singing along to the car radio on her daily commute.
These scenes don’t allow for grandstanding fireworks of emotion but the small changes in these routines reveal Gloria’s gradually changing attitudes to life.
Bonnie Tyler’s epic rock ballad Total Eclipse of The heart soundtracks a wonderfully aggressive moment of catharsis, leading to a dance floor scene which is well, glorious.