Stars: Julianne Moore, John Turturro, Michael Cera, Allana Ubach
Chilean writer-director Leila continues to impress with this very faithful, but nonetheless essential remake of his own 2013 picture ‘Gloria’. Julianne Moore is the titular character this time around, a fiftysomething divorcee looking for love in Los Angeles. Gloria works at an insurance firm and has two grown children (Cera and Ubach) who she rarely sees, and on the occasions she does, is relegated to bit part status in their lives. We follow Gloria each morning as she drives to work singing along to 80s power ballads, and in the evenings to dance clubs (she loves to dance) where she encounters a series of ill-suited ageing men. Then she meets Arnold (Turturro) a paintball centre owner with whom she seems to make a real connection. Turturro mines some real pathos out of a potentially thankless part of a rather needy man still overly attached to his ex-wife and daughter, but this is Moore’s film. On the screen in practically every scene she delivers a richly nuanced performance as the melancholy but indomitable and entirely relatable heroine. Lelio manages some canny observations on class and familial relations as well as some queasy laughs regarding attitudes towards the middle-aged and ageing, while Argentinian cinemaphotographer Natasha Braier’s rendering of LA in soft pastel hues imbues the picture with a woozy, suitably transitory feel. A wholly empathetic and somehow ultimately uplifting character study.