ⓘ Gloria (2013 film)

Gloria (2013 film)

ⓘ Gloria (2013 film)

Gloria is a 2013 Chilean-Spanish drama film directed by Sebastian Lelio. The film premiered in competition at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival, where Paulina Garcia won the Silver Bear for Best Actress. It was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. The film was selected as the Chilean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards, but it was not nominated. It won Best Ibero-American Film at the 1st Platino Awards. Sebastian Lelio remade Gloria in 2018 as Gloria Bell, starring Julianne Moore and John Turturro.


1. Plot

In Santiago, 10 years after her divorce and with her children grown up, 58 year-old Gloria decides she does not want to spend her days alone. She starts going to singles discos, where she meets and immediately starts an affair with Rodolfo, who operates an adventure centre in the hills that includes a paintball zone. Seven years older and divorced only a year ago, he is still very close to his two grown-up daughters. They do not work, relying on his financial support, and Rodolfo never switches off his mobile phone, answering it immediately if a daughter calls regardless of where he is.

Gloria introduces Rodolfo to her family at a birthday dinner for her son, attended also by her ex-husband, with whom she gets far too friendly after a few glasses of wine. When people ask Rodolfo about his career, he says he was in the Chilean Navy and a silence falls over the party. He leaves the room to answer a daughters call and does not return. Furious at this, Gloria breaks off the relationship with him.

After many efforts, Rodolfo succeeds in getting Gloria to accompany him to a luxury hotel beside the sea at Viña del Mar. On arriving at their room, one of Rodolfos daughters rings to say that her mother has had an accident and Rodolfo must come straight away. To stop him, Gloria strips and makes love to him. The two then go down to dinner, where she asks to see his mobile phone and drops it into his soup. Rodolfo leaves the table, which Gloria assumes for the mens room, and never returns. An upset Gloria heads for the bar, then for a wild night at the casino, then the disco, through the city streets, and wakes up with a terrible hangover on the beach the next morning. When the hotel receptionist tells her that Rodolfo has checked out with her things and the room is no longer available, she rings her cleaning lady to come and fetch her, many hours later, by bus.

Back home, Rodolfo makes numerous attempts to call Gloria at her home without success. Gloria retrieves one of Rodolfos paintball guns from her trash bin and puts it back in her car and, driving to his house, splatters the front of his house with green paintballs as he happens to be entering. When he protests, she splatters him as well, sending him slumped to the ground as his family runs out in horror. Later headed to a wedding she is invited to, she turns down invitations to dance at the reception. Then the DJ puts on her theme tune, Gloria by Umberto Tozzi, and she takes the dance floor, allowing herself to dance away.


2. Cast

  • Luz Jimenez as Victoria
  • Coca Guazzini as Luz
  • Fabiola Zamora as Ana
  • Eyal Meyer as Theo
  • Alejandro Goic as Daniel
  • Cristian Carvajal as Vecino
  • Marcela Said as Marcela
  • Antonia Santa Maria as Maria
  • Liliana Garcia as Flavia
  • Sergio Hernandez as Rodolfo Fernandez
  • Pablo Krogh as Pablo
  • Hugo Moraga as Hugo
  • Marcial Tagle as Marcial
  • Paulina Garcia as Gloria Cumplido
  • Diego Fontecilla as Pedro

3. Reception

The film received excellent reviews when it premiered at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival, topping both Screen International s Screen jury poll of international critics, and IndieWires critics poll of the best films screened at Berlin in 2013. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a "Certified Fresh" approval rating of 99% based on 128 reviews, with an average rating of 7.9/10. The sites consensus is "Marvelously directed by Sebastian Lelio and beautifully led by a powerful performance from Paulina Garcia, Gloria takes an honest, sweetly poignant look at a type of character thats all too often neglected in Hollywood." On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 83 out of 100, based on reviews from 30 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".

David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter writes "it’s hard to imagine anyone with a heart and a brain not responding to the quiet delights and stunning intimacy of Chilean director Sebastian Lelio’s account of the personal evolution of a 58-year-old divorcee, played with scrupulous honesty and intelligence by the wonderful Paulina Garcia" and "Funny, melancholy and ultimately uplifting, Sebastian Lelios enormously satisfying spell inside the head and heart of a middle-aged woman never puts a foot wrong".

Variety writes "Perceptive and unerringly sympathetic, Gloria has the makings of an arthouse sleeper".

Mark Adams of Screen International writes "A delightfully astute and compassionate delve into the life of a 58 year-old divorcee looking for company, romance and perhaps even love, director Sebastian Lelio’s engaging, amusing and oddly uplifting Gloria is a film that will strike a chord with audiences of a certain age. It is driven by a quite wonderful performance from Paulina Garcia, who should snag best actress awards at every festival the film plays at."

Eric Kohn of IndieWire gave the film an A and describes it as a "breakthrough" for actress Paulina Garcia.

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