Gloria (2013) - Sebastian Lelio
Gloria, a middle-aged divorcee, has reached the age where many have found their peace and happiness in life. A mother of two grown-up children she finds most of her happiness is derived from their endeavors, but being an empty-nester there is no doubt she is lonely. Gloria wishes to still have fun though, spending many of her nights looking for love at a singles club. When she meets Rodolfo, the passion is undeniable, but in their topsy-turvy relationship Gloria finds her strength. Sebastian Lelio's Gloria is very much a film about finding happiness at any age, with Gloria discovering that in order to be happy she must first love herself. This is very much a character-study, with Lelio following Gloria's every day routines, letting the audience get to know Gloria extremely well. She is a woman whose somewhat suffering from being an empty-nester, not really knowing how to adjust and the relationship she forms with Rodolfo, another divorcee, is really the strength off the film. Their relationship is very well-balanced, capturing both the intense passion they share as well as the skepticism centered around their ability to be together with their other life commitments. Rodolfo isn't a great guy by any means, but the film never demonizes him, suggesting that he is simply someone who isn't able to completely separate himself from his other relationships, most notably his immature daughters. The dichotomy between these two characters is very fascinating, with the only major difference being Gloria's ability to move on from her life as a parent. Gloria is a much more complex film than it seems, with a lot of nuance, and Paulina Garcia gives a fantastic performance that certainly lives up to the hype. Sebastian Lelio's Gloria is a nice blend of light comedy, drama and pathos, making it a surprisingly resonant film about finding ones happiness.
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