With the Oscars only a few months away, the short list for Best Film in a Foreign Language has been released, and Gloria is Chile’s entry. Sebastián Lelio’s film won’t blow you away or set the film world on fire, but it is a thoughtful treatise on finding love in later life and the current socio-economic state of the country.
Gloria (Paulina García) is a free-spirited older woman who has floated through life since her divorce. She meets fellow divorcee Rodolfo (Sergio Hernández) at a a nightclub and he sweeps Gloria off her feet. Everything seems to be going well until their starkly different pasts and families threaten to tear everything apart.
Paulina García is fantastic and fearless in her role as the eponymous heroine, whilst the film casts an analytical eye over the struggle between living in an unhappy relationship or facing the future on your own. The film never slips into melodrama or allows sentimentality to eek in, handling the subject sensitively and adding a lightness of touch to prevent it becoming bogged down. Gloria is a thoroughly engaging contemplative film, which shows that Chilean cinema still has much to offer.
Gloria is out now at the Showroom.