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A street-wise, middle-aged moll named Gloria stands up against the mobs, which is complicated by a six-year-old urchin with a will of his own who she reluctantly takes under her wing after his family has been gunned down. Written by
BOB STEBBINS <email@example.com>
Wooden acting, straight forward dialogue, horrible direction. * out of ****.
GLORIA / (1999) *
Starring: Sharon Stone, Jeremy Northam, Jean-Luke Figueroa, George C. Scott, and Bonnie Bedelia Directed by Sidney Lumet. Written by Steven Antin. Running time: 108 minutes. Rated R (for strong language, violence, and brief nudity).
"Gloria" is a movie of such horrible proportions it is tough explaining in words the incredible ineffectiveness it presents on screen. The movie is robbed of almost all good qualities. There is no substance, style, or creativity here. It's all flat, contrived, and boring. The scenes consist of nothing but talking heads. "Gloria" is easily one of the year's worst movies and undoubtedly will place on many critics list of least liked productions.
The film's opening is extremely week. We meet the title character, who is supposedly our hero, as she is being released from a hardened prison on parole. As she cusses at security guards walking out dressed as a cheap prostitute, this woman's attitude and condition of living make us sick.
The second part of the first act has a family killed at gunshot by a gang led by a man named Kevin (Jeremy Northam), who murders these people because they withhold a computer disk containing information that could put every member in prison. Before the family's demise, however, the man of the house gives the valuable disk to his son, Nicky.
A good movie usually begins with the introduction of its main character after the development. After the first act setup, the characters' morals and intentions should be clear. "Gloria" takes none of these preparations. The audience never becomes accustomed to any of the characters--thus we could not care less about what happens to them. This is especially true for the Nicky character, who is only a plot device. He has no interest, intelligence, important lines, or memorable scenes.
The story's conflict revolves around Gloria adopting Nicky after Kevin threatens to kill both of them in order to recover the secret disk. Throughout the plot, the characters chase each other like a cat and mouse, with several key events leading the film's direction in the wrong way. The conflict's introduction with some proper material is good--although begins a little straight forward and seems jump started. The movie contains good structure throughout. The film features dialogue that is so straight forward and non descriptive, and the subtext is so blandly dumb, it is literally unbelievable. The conversations have no impact or meaning. They are just there, contributing nothing to the story. When Gloria exchanges consultation with Nicky, she talks to him like an object. This is exactly why the two characters share no charisma.
The performances are wooden and uninspiring. What is Sharon Stone doing in this picture? Movies like these are way under her league. None of the characters are believable or interesting. Compare the young actor Jean-Luke Figueroa with the much more talented Haley Joel Osment from "The Sixth Sense."
There is no emotional context here, nor is there any depth, energy, or involvement. The picture does not take any of the characters, situations, or actions seriously. I never once believed a character's life was at stake. Not much happens in the film, creating struggle for the advertisers and producers. Anyone like well-known Sharon Stone may draw some audiences in, but before long word of mouth should sink good old "Gloria" faster than the Titanic.
Brought to you by Columbia Pictures.
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