Since Hollywood refuses to make clever, engaging films about strong 50-something women, leave it to Chile to give us a movie to celebrate. This delightful comedy-drama has a loose plot that lets Paulina Garcia's terrific title character spring wonderfully to life. And she's never a victim: Gloria is a woman who does things on her own terms.
The film opens by showing us how full her life is. She may be divorced, but Gloria enjoys her busy days, going from her office job to yoga classes, laughter therapy and helping her adult children (Fontecilla and Zamora) with their issues. And in her spare time, she heads to the local disco to meet men. It's there that she encounters Rodolfo (Hernandez), a man her age who runs an extreme sports park. As their relationship develops, Gloria begins to worry that he has no interest in her children, and even worse he constantly leaves her in the lurch so he can help his own adult daughters. So she has to make a decision.
The nice thing about Gloria is that she knows she's fine on her own; she doesn't need Rodolfo, but she likes him and is willing to put up with his baggage (including his velcro corset). Watching her deal with him gives us a striking portrait of her independent resilience. Even though she's had a rocky romantic life, she's still hopeful about love and maintains a youthful silly streak. Garcia plays all of this with a blast of personality that wins us over completely.
Continue reading: Gloria Review
Gloria is 58-years-old, divorced and no longer has children to care for, but the last thing she wants to do is settle down to a life of quiet solitude. Instead, she spends her nights partying away at the local clubs and bars, and eventually meets Rodolfo - a former naval officer who charms her and makes her feel like a young woman again. However, he appears to be less adventurous than she, and their whirlwind romance begins to wane when she suggests they abandon work for a short while to go dancing in Cuba. She wants to introduce him to her family, but when she tries, he is no longer picking up the phone. The pair are forced to confront their own needs and desires if they want to continue their blossoming relationship.
'Gloria' is an adorable Spanish romance drama about how finding love later in life can be just as thrilling and rollercoaster-like as young love. Directed by Sebastian Lelio ('Christmas', 'El ano del tigre') who co-wrote the screenplay with his frequent writing partner Gonzalo Maza, the flick has been selected as the Chilean entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the upcoming Academy Awards. It will be released in the UK on November 1st 2013.
For his third Pinochet-era movie, Chilean filmmaker Larrain has come up with his most breathtakingly original approach yet, telling a story anyone, anywhere can identify with while at the same time never pulling his political punches. Nominated for an Oscar, the film is a blast of creativity, and not just because it centres on the advertising business.
It's set in 1988 Santiago, where ad agency boss Lucho (Castro) has taken a high-profile job for the government to get the nation to vote "yes" on a referendum to ratify Pinochet for another 10 years. Bowing to international pressure, Pinochet allows the "no" campaign to have equal time on TV, and Lucho's employee Rene (Garcia Bernal) takes the job. Rene knows he has the moral high-ground, standing up against Pinochet's tyrannical rule, censorship and rampant human rights abuses. But he also worries that a government known for oppressing ideas is unlikely to let him say anything he wants. Or to allow a truly free vote.
Over the 27-day campaign, the respect and rivalry between Lucho and Rene spurs them to increasing creativity. Rene knows that "you can't use fear on a population that's already terrorised", so opts instead to focus on the coming happiness. This essentially turns the film into a sharp comedy, even though there are dark dangers lurking everywhere. And offhanded, natural performances make the entire cast both likeable and sympathetic. Their debates are packed with witty observations that offer revealing glimpses into both politics and the creative process.
Continue reading: No Review
Raquel (Saavedra) has worked with Pilar and Mundo (Celedon and Goic) for more than 20 years, raising their four children. She's part of the family, and is fiercely protective of her work. So when Pilar hires a nice younger woman (Villanueva) to help, Raquel subtly but outrageously hounds her out of the job.
And when they hire a much feistier older woman (Reeves) to snap Raquel into shape, she tries the same thing again. But the next one (Loyola) is a completely different story.
Continue reading: The Maid [La Nana] Review
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