Gloria, a character driven story about a middle aged divorced woman (Paulina Garcia) looking for her second chance at love, offers TIFF enthusiasts a lighter option that’s easier to digest amongst the more serious titles. The fifty-something dynamic lead can usually be found at her favourite disco for older singles. Here she meets Rodolfo (Sergio Hernández), a recently divorced man, whose adult children are still perennially needy. In an attempt at a lasting relationship, she encourages him to cut ties, a task more daunting than realized.
There’s no doubt as to why Garcia won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. Her vitality and enthusiasm radiate through her dancing, and her “living life to the fullest trumps all else” ethos. Her duty as mother and grandmother is always close to the surface, but she finds the courage to put herself first.
Director Sebastian Lelio and cinematographer Benjamin Echazarretta turn out decent work here, however it tends towards the predictable. But there are plenty of funny, moving and awkward moments. The best involves Gloria, the new beau, her ex (Alejandro Goic) and his wife at a family celebration that gets more uncomfortable after a few too many drinks.
It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s a solid crowd pleaser with an excellent leading performance. (Eric Marchen)
Monday, September 9th, TIFF Bell Lightbox 1, 7:45pm
Tuesday, September 10th, Scotiabank 2, 5:00pm