Gloria Bell Movie Review

It’s obvious to many movie fans that women of a certain age are not always given the same screen time or the same roles that their male counterparts are given. At best, she is the mother or mother figure of the main character. At worst, she is the under-sexed or over-sexed cougar looking to bed the younger male lead.

In the new film, Gloria Bell, the main character is neither simply the mother or the cougar. Based on the 2013 Chilean film, Gloria, Gloria Bell (Julianne Moore), is a 50 something single divorcee living in Los Angeles. With her kids grown and out of the house, she blows off steam after work by going to dance clubs. One night, she meets Arnold (John Turturro), who is also a 50 something divorcee with grown kids.  It seems like Gloria and Arnold are on the path to a long-term relationship, but there are complications. Will their relationship last or is it doomed before it can even get started?

My only complaint about this film is that it was a little long. Some scenes could have been shortened or left for the extras portion on the DVD. Otherwise, the film is brilliant. It’s rare for Hollywood to produce a film about a vibrant middle-aged woman who is defined as an individual and not defined by her romantic status or her children. Gloria, as a character is both refreshing and awe-inspiring. When her relationship with Arnold does not appear to be solid, Gloria does not console herself with romantic movies, alcohol and her favorite pint of Ben and Jerry’s. She goes about her life with confidence and perseverance. I wish there were more female characters like Gloria, especially women of a certain age.

I absolutely recommend it.

Gloria Bell is currently in theaters. 

Landline Movie Review

For those of us of a certain age, the 1990’s invoke nostalgia for what appeared to be a simpler time.

The new movie, Landline, is set in New York City in 1995. Alan (John Turturro) and Pat (Edie Falco) are a married couple with two daughters: engaged twenty something Dana (Jenny Slate) and teenager Ali (Abby Quinn). The film starts out with a Norman Rockwell-ish image of a family who will soon be tested. Dana has been engaged to Ben (Jay Duplass) for a while, but it seems like their wedding day may not happen. Ali is the typical rebellious teenage girl. The drama really starts to ramp up when the girls discover that their father is having an affair and their mother struggles with the work/life balance that many women deal with.

This movie is refreshing and real. The characters that make up the family feel like any other family who love each other and try to make it work, despite their individual imperfections. It also feels nostalgic, not just because the film is set in 1995, but because it was just before computers and the internet took over the world.

I recommend it.

Landline is presently in theaters.

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