Divorced for more than ten years, Gloria, a vibrant 58-year-old office clerk in Santiago and mother of two grown-up kids, craves for adventure, refusing to spend the rest of her life in solitude and self-pity. Instead, the vivacious Gloria embraces her freedom, and because of her love for dance and an aching longing for companionship, she will meet Rodolfo, a recently divorced former naval officer, and will daringly decide to give love a second chance. Regretfully; however, Rodolfo comes with baggage, and even though Gloria is sincerely attracted to him, reality's harsh truth will inevitably bring her face-to-face with towering obstacles, rather than undiluted excitement and ardent passion. In the end, Gloria alone, yet surrounded by people, sad but at the same time happy, will she ultimately find the strength to overcome them?Written by
After reading many glowing reviews of this film, I had quite high expectations. In truth, I was ready to toss those high hopes out the window, as the film seemed to be more and more difficult to watch as an exercise in sadness. However, after thinking about it and being blown away by the last 20 minutes of the movie, I came down on the side that it was an inspiring and powerful experience.
Paulina Garcia, as Gloria, is magnificent and mesmerizing here as an attractive but terribly lonely middle-aged Chilean woman, who frequents some of the local dance clubs. It's here that one night she meets Rodolfo, who is very strongly portrayed by Sergio Hernandez. They're immediately attracted to each other and quickly begin a relationship.
Unfortunately, Rodolfo turns out to be a rather despicable character, who's more interested in being completely enmeshed and co-dependent with his ex-wife and their two daughters, than in developing an adult relationship with Gloria. Even though Gloria sees the "handwriting on the wall" she has to decide whether she will succumb to this hurtful environment or return to her lonely existence.
I thought this movie, directed and co-written ( with Gonzalo Maza) by Chilean filmmaker Sebastian Lelio, lost its' way at times and became difficult to watch. Also, I thought the explicit sex scenes and graphic nudity seemed to be more often done for effect than anything else.
However, Garcia's incredible performance proved to be the key for me here, as her portrayal of Gloria gave me a strong feeling of her bravery and this movie has been one I've thought about well after it was over.
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