Sebastian Lelio's Gloria Bell is that most rare of things – a Hollywood remake of a foreign language film that's worthy of the original
Hollywood adaptations of foreign language films are often little more than craven cash grabs. However, if you consider the scarcity of leading roles for women over 50, you can excuse Julianne Moore for asking Chilean director Sebastian Lelio to remake his critically acclaimed 2013 film Gloria so she could star in it. A comedy-drama about a middle-aged woman embarking on an ill-fated romance, the action might have shifted from Santiago to Los Angeles, but Gloria (Moore) is still searching for love in all the wrong places. But one night, on the dance floor of a local singles’ club, she encounters Arnold (John Turturro), a shy divorcee who forces her to reconsider her fears about being alone.
Moore’s effervescent performance adds a sensuality that’s arguably missing from the original, but otherwise little has changed in this shot-for-shot remake. Lelio has described the film as a cover version and, just like American singer Laura Branigan’s rendition of Umberto Tozzi’s pop song Gloria, the language might have changed but the sentiment remains the same.