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Sunday, September 27, 2020

The Glorias - Movie Review


The Movie: The Glorias

The Director: Julie Taymor

The Cast: Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Bette Midler, Janelle Monáe, Lorraine Toussaint, Lulu Wilson, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Kimberly Guerrero

The Story: The story of feminist icon Gloria Steinem's itinerant childhood's influence on her life as a writer, activist and organizer for women's rights worldwide.


The Review:
Gloria Steinem is an American icon and a driving force behind the women's rights movement. This movie shows us many examples of how men, white men, American white men are greedy, racist, sex driven, power hungry people who will stop at nothing to hold their status and to keep women and minorities from achieving a level playing field. All of this is true. Is it true for every single person? That's a huge question that isn't really solved and it's a way deeper conversation than I'm going to get in to here.

When Julie Taymor makes a movie, it is very obvious that she has made a movie. There is a particular style and flair to her films that always seem to include some fantastic elements that go way beyond straightforward and conventional story telling. Her work on Disney's The Lion King Broadway production is nothing short of brilliant and will probably always stand as my favorite of the format and then the Beatles infused magic of Across the Universe makes for quite the viewing experience. The hyper reality she infuses into this movie is directly related to the movie's title as we see Gloria at several points in her life all interacting with each other at certain times. Don't ask me to explain that.

The different Glorias are played by a roster of women that would be the envy of any film production and I was thoroughly impressed with each of them. Alicia Vikander plays a young adult version of the woman while Julianne Moore takes over for the middle aged and older scenes. Both women are fantastic and do nothing to sway the respect I have for for each of them. Rounding out the Glorias are Lulu Wilson and Ryan Kiera Armstrong both of whom seem to have promising careers ahead of them. Along for the ride are Bette Midler as U.S. Representative and social activist Bella Abzug and Timothy Hutton as Gloria's father Leo Steinem. Both actors are at the top of their game and deliver outstanding performances.

While the movie is entertaining and educational, I'm wondering if Taymor packed too much story into a single film that, as it is, runs well into a two and half hour run time. I loved seeing all the different women who Steinem crossed paths with and all the different points in her life and all of it comes across as a slide show highlight film without ever really going full on into any of it. I don't have a solution here unless somebody would have wanted to invest in this story as a trilogy or as an episodic series instead of a single feature film.


The Verdict:
The Glorias is a good movie that tells the important story of an amazing woman in America's constant struggle for equality. Definitely worth checking out and I hope it inspires you to dig deeper into the woman's life as well as taking a look at how much of what she has fought against still exists today.


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