Gloria Bell

Julianne Moore has a difficult love story in entertaining remake

As I was watching “Gloria Bell,” I realized something: this is a remake of the 2013 Spanish movie “Gloria,” both of which were written and directed by the same man: Sebastian Lelio. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the original, but watching this American version gave me a fresh reminder. Matter of fact, Lelio has done a fine job on both films, because of the ways he guides the stars with their reasonings.

This version is set in Los Angeles.

Julianne Moore takes over Paulina Garcia’s role of Gloria, a divorced mother in her 50s, who keeps in touch with her friends and family, and hits disco clubs whenever she’s up for it. On her negative sides, she constantly hears one of her tenants cursing his head off, and somehow, a stray Sphinx cat finds his way in her home. Otherwise, she’s doing decent.

One night, she meets the charming divorcee Arnold (John Turturro). They hit it off real nice, and become a couple, until the writing leads to the turning point of their relationship.

Unlike Gloria, who has 2 mature kids (Michael Cera and Caren Pistorius), Arnold has 2 insecure daughters, who depend on him all the time. “What’s the big deal?,” your asking. He doesn’t have the guts to put his foot down when he needs his time, and he leaves Gloria without any notice. And when he tries to apologize, she tells him to “grow a pair.”

The movie’s cast also includes Brad Garrett as Gloria’s ex-husband, Jeanne Tripplehorn as his new wife, Sean Astin as a gambler Gloria fools around with in Las Vegas, Rita Wilson as her married friend, and Holland Taylor as her mother.

The message in both versions (I’ll try not to spoil anything) remind us that certain love stories aren’t meant to be. But really, both versions are about the choices and independence of one woman. Lelio reminds us of these facts, and in this case, we’re talking about Moore’s Gloria. She’s flat-out fantastic in the ways she likes to have fun and considers her choices in life. And Turturro offers some fine work as her would-be dream guy, who can’t take any risks and leaves her high and dry. Both these stars have chemistry, not their characters.

The fact that I’ve seen both movies left me predicting the ending. So I wasn’t too surprised. But still, I enjoyed “Gloria Bell” for its grooves, style, and heart.

⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

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