review by Bobby Blakey
Throughout history there have been individuals that have stood up no matter the oppression they faced to make a difference in this world. These are important stories to hear as they have shaped our world for the better and when handled correctly make for some for some of the best and most inspiring films. The latest from Julie Taymor, the visionary director of Frida and Across the Universe, The Glorias looks to be one of those films and stars Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Bette Midler, Janelle Monáe, Lorraine Toussaint, Lulu Wilson, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, and Kimberly Guerrero. Could this film capture the essence of this iconic human or will it fail to make it to publication?
The Glorias follows Gloria Steinem, an indelible icon known for her world-shaping activism, guidance of the revolutionary women’s movement, and writing that has impacted generations in this nontraditional biopic that traces Steinem’s influential journey to prominence—from her time in India as a young woman, to the founding of Ms. magazine in New York, to her role in the rise of the women’s rights movement in the 1960s, to the historic 1977 National Women’s Conference and beyond.
Going into this I knew some stuff and the importance of what she did, but not near as much as I thought I did. This film takes an interesting approach to adapting her book, My Life on the Road with using numerous actors to portray her in different times that actually interact with each other in a clever way of storytelling. If it sounds a bit out there it kind of is, but works to perfection to tell this story. There is the usual story of her life, but then also a matter of her inner voice as it grows to become the outspoken journalist she is today.
This could have been a pretty straight forward biopic of Steinem and it is on most levels, but they made sure to keep the focus more on what she did than just her life story. It’s an interesting combination of the both and all the ladies that take on the role are excellent. Vikander and Moore share the primary duties with Vikander carrying the biggest load. They not only look and act the part to
perfection, they look perfect side by side as the younger and older versions. It’s always a plus when every actor in a role looks like they could have aged into the next and here it is pretty spot on.
There are so many great powerful moments in her life and career that I have no doubt it was likely hard to fit them all in, but it felt pretty complete and empowering. This film would have been timely anytime with everything she has and is still doing, but even more so now with everything going on in the world. Seeing all that they fought for and accomplished and yet still fighting for the same things today is just infuriating. I hope people will check this film out for not only the importance of the message of her life, but the worthiness of the woman herself.
Check out The Glorias available now on digital and on Amazon Prime.