Gloria (2013, Chile) ***

Gloria, a Chilean-Spanish drama directed by Sebastián Lelio to a screenplay by himself and Gonzalo Maza, tells the story of a 58 year old divorcee who, tired of the singles' parties circuit, attempts at finding a new love. Staring Paulina García, who thoroughly commits herself to the role, Gloria is an extensive character study. It explores a woman of a certain age, during a determining juncture in her life; a time of new beginnings, reflection and departure.
The film focuses entirely on Gloria. Even when other characters are speaking or responding, it is her face that always remains in sight. The plot is quite thin and is composed of multiple tiny puzzle pieces assorted together, so that somewhere along the midpoint of the story, we perceive a decent picture of whom this woman is, what makes her tick, her aspirations and despair.
Gloria won numerous awards and achieved critical acclaim (at current it holds 99 percent rating at,) yet it may not be everyone's cup of tea or, in the case of Gloria, sort of alcoholic drink... One can either relate to the character and become completely immersed, or watch her life-story unfolds with some interest, but then yawn as the film goes on and on. While appreciating the well-developed character and the performance of García, I was not one to get absorbed in her story and thus belong to the later crowd. Still, it is a noteworthy film with heartful and warm appeal.