Gloria Bell Movie Review
I turned Gloria Bell off after 25 minutes, largely uninterested in what appeared to be a pretty typical romantic drama about two middle-aged divorcees seeking love at old person nightclubs, because apparently old person nightclubs are a thing. I then decided to give it another chance. Thankfully.
Julianne Moore turns in a great if understated performance as a lonely woman who does her thing at work during the day and then ventures out into the Los Angeles dance scene at night, hunting for new prey. She meets an unassuming man named Arnold (John Turturro) and the two begin a relationship.
Sounds pretty damn boring, right?
Luckily, that’s just the setup for the rest of the movie, which is a bit more complicated and significantly more interesting.
Sebastián Lelio, who already made the same movie six years ago in Chile (titled Gloria, no Bell) and apparently decided one time wasn’t enough—or that he didn’t want to watch someone else mess with his baby—crafts an intriguing tale about desperation for love/companionship and a woman who has to learn the hard way that she deserves more.
Gloria Bell doesn’t present the most groundbreaking of stories, nor is it the most groundbreaking of movies--but Lelio gets the most out of his performers and delivers a romantic drama that doesn’t go in the directions you expect it to take. The film’s final minutes are to die for—and unpredictability combined with a satisfying ending is a duo that is hard to resist.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.