Film Review: Julianne Moore is a Ringing Sensation in ‘Gloria Bell’

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CHICAGO – The sheer ordinariness of life is not fodder for most dramatic films … the popcorn munchers generally turn out for something more high concept. But in Exhibit A, there is “Gloria Bell,” in which Julianne Moore portrays the title character in a series of ordinary extraordinary events. Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

It is poetically ordinary what happens to Gloria, and her survival instinct is what makes it extraordinary. With a stellar cast – led by Moore – hitting all the right beats, “Bell” rings out in a way that is familiar to everyone (well, at least to everyone over a certain point in their lives). The inner life that Moore creates for her character is the most fascinating point of view in the film, who on the surface is a somewhat lonely divorced woman who loves dancing and keeping her life on track. The film was directed by Sebastián Lelio, the filmmaker who makes deep observations of human motives (“A Fantastic Woman,” “Disobedience”) in his creations. The combination of him and Moore was stupendously effective, and allows Gloria Bell to rise to her own truth.

Gloria Bell (Moore) is a longtime divorced woman who obviously has made a decision to get out of the house, as we first meet her dancing at a “meet market” bar. The fishing expedition yields success, as a newly divorced man named Arnold (John Turturro) takes a shine to her, and a relationship is launched. But something about him seems amiss almost immediately, and this will affect Gloria going forward.

In the midst of this new relationship, Gloria is wrestling with two children, a son (Michael Cera) who has split from his wife and is caring for his own infant son and a daughter (Caren Pistorius) who has a relationship that will take her away from the family. Add a kvetching ex-husband (Brad Garrett), and Gloria will need all her sense memory to understand the next phase in her life.

“Gloria Bell” opens in Chicago on March 15th, part of a nationwide release. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Julianne Moore, John Turturro, Michael Cera, Rita Wilson, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Brad Garrett and Sean Astin. Based on “Gloria” (2013) by Sebastián Lelio, screenplay adapted by Alice Johnson Boher. Directed by Sebastián Lelio. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Gloria Bell”

Glorious Gloria: Julianne Moore as ‘Gloria Bell’
Photo credit: A24

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Gloria Bell”

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