Parents' Guide to

Gloria Bell

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Nuanced, mature character study about a fascinating woman.

Movie R 2019 102 minutes
Gloria Bell Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

Could be emotionally disrupting

While this film is made very well-great sound engineering, strong and consistent themes, good performances - the overall theme of the movie holds you in a low and deep-seated emotion through the entire story. It is less thought-provoking and more emotionally stirring, and does not influence any positive emotions. The story attempts to end on a hopeful note, but only after a painfully slow and heartbreaking compilation of consecutive problems and challenges the main character barely manages to endure. It is a strong work of art, but not all art has a positive effect on its consumers. I would not recommend this to anyone who struggles with processing emotions, depression or anxiety. This film should be approached with a mindset prepared for emotional resilience.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (1):

Chilean director Sebastian Lelio's English-language remake of his own 2013 Gloria works surprisingly well. It's less a sellout than it is an alternate deep-dive into a heartbreaking character. With Moore ably taking the baton from acclaimed Chilean actor Paulina Garcia, Gloria Bell matches the original almost beat for beat. Offering a nuanced, perceptive look into the life of a character a little past middle age, the movie wonders whether an ordinary woman who's already married and raised children still has a right to, or a shot at, happiness. (The question itself is poignant.) The pitfalls Gloria faces are all viewed through the rich lens of late-life experience.

Gloria is as bitterly familiar with a divorced man's baggage as she is unfamiliar with, say, holding a paintball gun or handling a creepy, hairless cat. She frequently wears a pasted-on smile, perhaps believing that if she appears to be positive, she'll be more appealing to others. But her ache still comes through; she's simultaneously shielded and open-hearted. The movie lacks a certain Chilean climate that belonged to the original, but Lelio -- following up his remarkable English-language debut Disobedience -- manages to find a certain American-ness in his story, especially when it comes to a youth-obsessed culture's disregard for the over-50 set. Regardless of language, Gloria Bell is a sophisticated, touching character study.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: March 8, 2019
  • On DVD or streaming: June 4, 2019
  • Cast: Julianne Moore, John Turturro, Michael Cera
  • Director: Sebastian Lelio
  • Inclusion Information: Latinx directors
  • Studio: A24
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 102 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: sexuality, nudity, language and some drug use
  • Last updated: February 25, 2023

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