Academy-award winning Chilean writer-director of A Fantastic Woman and Disobedience, Sebastián Lelio, has taken a very non-conventional decision: to remake one of his own films.
Gloria was first released in 2013 as a Spanish-language movie starring Paulina García as a free-spirited, middle-aged divorcee living in Santiago. Now Lelio has reimagined the film with the fabulous Julianne Moore in the starring role in an English-language “cover version” of his original material, set in LA.
As we follow Gloria through her days working in a straight-laced office job, talking out life’s challenges over ciggies with work colleagues and being snubbed by her own grown-up children whilst also finding moments of liberation dancing the night away in clubs, Lelio alternately offers us a minute by minute observational stance and short flickering glimpses that leave us to fill in the gaps.
Here the director has recreated his story afresh to produce yet another stunning and intimate portrait of a woman of a certain age and the quiet battles she fights every day. Julianne Moore is perfection, filling every frame of the film with careful nuance and an endless spectrum of emotion, alongside John Turturro as her love interest, Arnold. If the audience is left with any pervading sentiment, it is that the answer to most things in life is just to keep on dancing.
We had the privilege of sitting down with Lelio to find out what prompted him to remake his own film, his experience of working with Julianne Moore and how his filmmaking style – and the world around him – has evolved since he made the first version.
By Sarah Bradbury. First published on The Upcoming on 7th June 2019.
Gloria Bell is released nationwide on 7th June 2019. Read our review here.
Watch the trailer for Gloria Bell here: