Gloria Bell is a charming slice-of-life, whether you’re on a date or flying solo

Gloria Bell is a charming slice-of-life, whether you’re on a date or flying solo
That’s about all you need to know about Gloria Bell, which is the name both of the character played by Julianne Moore and of the movie, a remake of the 2013 foreign-language charmer Gloria from Chilean writer/director Sébastián Lelio.

Lelio has recreated his own movie for non-subtitle-reading audiences with, it must be said, a high degree of fidelity. Original actress Paulina García, striking but also clearly in her 50s, gives way to Moore, who turns 59 this year.

Beautiful but hardly glamorous under a sensible haircut and large glasses, Moore delivers a naturalistic performance that looks so effortless you know it’s not. A three-dimensional character without the need for 3D glasses; what will they think of next?

The beats are the same as in the original. Gloria meets fellow divorced parent Arnold (John Turturro) during a night out at a club. They hit it off; he reads her a love poem by Claudio Bertoni (in translation) and takes her to the amusement park he runs, for a little bungee-jumping and paintball.

Meanwhile – because we are more than the sum of our prime romantic relationships, dammit! – Gloria visits her children (Michael Cera, Caren Pistorius), spends time with her mom and work colleagues; goes to the eye doctor; sings along with the car radio (not badly but not perfectly either); and deals with a noisy neighbour and a mysterious hairless cat that keeps infiltrating her apartment.

She calls her kids regularly – signing off with “this is your mother,” in case it’s not clear – but also knows not to overstep their personal boundaries. Once they’re out of the nest, you have to let them fly on their own.

The effect is to sketch out a life in all its messy detail, and to let us know that Gloria is already complete without a man. (The not-so-subtle message to viewers: So are you!)

So the fact that she meets one who seems like a nice guy is a bonus. The dumb stunt he pulls during a family dinner suggests that maybe he’s not worth the effort. Though I have to admit that, as a man, I wondered whether her reaction wasn’t overblown: He gets jealous of her cozy relationship with her ex-husband, and ghosts the party; she won’t return his calls for days. Still, a later incident suggests her initial instinct was the right one.

As a date movie, expect Gloria Bell to create a wide space for discussion afterward. Though you could also go see this charming slice of life on your own. Nothing wrong with that. This is a rom-com for people old enough to remember When Harry Met Sally, and wise enough to have realized that things would have worked out even if he hadn’t.

He routinely switches false beards, moustaches and hairstyles, even fake tattoos. She swaps wigs, scarves, glasses. Both have a catalog of fantasy names

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Since it was introduced in 2017, thousands of mothers and fathers have collected their “Vaccine Education Certificate,” then continued to duck the shots for their children

I am reminded of the Gomery inquiry. Quid pro quos, greasy influence over civil servants, too much power in the PMO: It all seems awfully familiar, doesn’t it?
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