Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"Gloria": "Never Stop Dancing" Is the Moral 

Wednesday, Feb 5 2014
Comments

Fairly early on in Sebastián Lelio's assured and absorbing film, we may catch a detail nicely observed but not overstressed: that the movie's late-middle-aged protagonist can't bend quite as far as her younger yoga classmates, yet seems to exude a certain resiliency nonetheless. As excellently played by Paulina García, her face often framed by big and significant-seeming Tootsie-style glasses, this Gloria gamely goes about the business of claiming her due from life. Obviously no longer a youngster but still very much a seeker of passion and purpose, she also makes rounds at faintly pitiable Santiago singles bars, eventually delving into the vicissitudes of falling for and coping with a suitor who doesn't suit her (Sergio Hernández). Lelio's non-restrictively comedic scenario, scripted by him and Gonzalo Maza, makes a great space for García's wholesale refusal of self-pity, which in turn prompts real dramatic resonance. This was Chile's bid for the foreign-language Oscar, but it didn't make the nomination cut, perhaps for failing to resolve itself as judgmental of or sentimental about its heroine. The idea that a lonely divorcee could also be a person of complexity and dignity does still seem threatening to some American movie decision-makers, but of course they're getting older and lonelier too.

About The Author

Jonathan Kiefer

Bio:
SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Slideshows

  • Jack White at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
    Jack White and his band performed at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Friday and Saturday nights in front of sold out audiences. Jack entertained his fans with music that included songs from his days with The White Stripes, and The Raconteurs, as well as hits from his solo albums; Blunderbuss and Lazaretto. Photography by Sugarwolf.
  • San Francisco Street Food Festival 2014
    The San Francisco Street Food Festival was another success this year. Dozens of vendors with original, unheard-of creations, such as deep fried mac and cheese on a stick, black pea paste pancakes, and Korean quesadillas. Then there was the comfort foods we've grown accustomed to, like creme bruleé, shrimp rolls, and pound cake. Photographs by Mabel Jimenez.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed