If you want to see a Spanish film set in Chile, go see Gael Garcia Bernal in the amusing historical drama, No (2012). Unless you consider dullness to be a virtue, Gloria is one movie better off left unseen.
Enticed by the previews for Director Sebastian Lelio’s Gloria, the film proved to be profoundly disappointing. Quite frankly, I found it to be a complete disaster. Set in Santiago, Chile, it centers on a middle-aged, divorced woman (Paulina Garcia) trying to find some pleasure in life. A bit of a free spirit, she drinks and smokes heavily as she patronizes local clubs to try to meet a suitable man.
In the process, she hooks up with an older guy named Rodolfo (Sergio Hernandez), a relationship that has doom written all over it. While she likes him, something clearly doesn’t add up. Gloria’s problem is that the guy is a jerk on the make, something that is apparent to everyone but Gloria.
The problem with the film centers on the fact that it is hard to like anyone on screen. Gloria spends some casual moments with her two adult children, but it is impossible to identify with them. As for Gloria, she seems dead set on becoming one of the dullest women walking the face of the Earth.
The absurdity of her relationship with Rodolfo is compounded by the fact that she continually goes back with him. While she wants to follow her own path, being attracted to the functional equivalent of a human turd is not advisable.
As noted, what I found so utterly annoying about Gloria was that the previews were genuinely appealing. Tragically, absent those previews, there is literally nothing of meaningful interest taking place in the entire film.
While the movie is only 1 hour and 40 minutes long, by its conclusion I felt like a suffering prison inmate who has just been denied parole.