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Life begins again at 50 for GLORIA: A must-see new film…Created by Charlotte in Ban the Bun, Being You
Ditch the stereotypical obsession with zimmer frames, arthritis stairlifts, memory loss and mortality. It is the film about a 50-something woman starring an unknown teacher which captured the imagination of the jury and cinema-goers alike at the 63rd Berlin Film Festival earlier this year resulting in Paulina Garcia winning the coveted Best Actress award.
Now Sebastian Lelio’s GLORIA will open in 45 countries and is Chile’s official Oscar™ entry for 2014. Ahead of the comedy-drama’s premiere at the BFI London Film Festival followed by a Q&A tour with the female lead before a 1 November UK release, why might GLORIA prove a hit with UK audiences?
In the film Paulina Garcia plays a 50-something divorcee on a journey of self-discovery. She fills her nights seeking love in ballrooms and making a party out of her solitude. Part of the universality of GLORIA is that modern day Chile could be any modern day city including any in the UK. The phenomenon of ‘silver splitters’ – people over 60 who are divorced or separated – has risen by three-quarters in the past twenty years, according to recent data from the Office for National Statistics. According to marriage charity Relate, those born between 1946 and 1964 will be the first generation for whom living alone is the norm in old age due to the rising divorce rate in the UK.
Mark Beasley, Chairman of the Mature Marketing Association and mature marketing consultancy RHC Advantage, commented that: “GLORIA touches on many themes relevant to the UK’s ageing population. People in their 50s, and older, are an increasingly large, complex and diverse group, to which society must continue to adapt. Many older people – especially women – tell us that they feel ‘invisible’ – as people and as consumers. Gloria reminds us that in most important respects, our attitudes and needs do not change with age – and that we are indeed a force to be reckoned with.”
So what has made the film such a hit with cinemagoers that a Chilean film is opening in 45 countries? The Berlin Festival jury who awarded Garcia the Silver Bear commended the film, “for its refreshing and contagious plea that life is a celebration to which we are all invited, regardless of age or condition, and that its complexities only add to the challenge to live it in full.”
Reactions from film critics have been extremely positive. According to Screen International‘s chief critic Mark Adams, “Paulina Garcia is quite wonderful in the role – she is in every scene, and does a remarkable job in portraying the fractured and fraying life of a middle-aged woman who is simply seeking affection.”
The film’s director Sebastian Lelio said, “I think that the energy in Gloria’s character is what makes this film vibrant and human. In a certain sense, Gloria is like Rocky: the world strikes at her and beats her down, but she manages to get up once more and carry on forward, holding her head up high. This, to me, was always a great reason for which to film this woman’s story, to film what we can see of her on the surface and to try film her mystery as well.
With the significant growth in older people visiting UK cinemas GLORIA may well prove to be an independent cinema hit not just with women but with an older audience. Recent BFI research shows that in 2012 the proportion of over 45s in UK cinemas increased to 36%. The over 45s are also said to make up more than 50% of independent cinema audiences.
A film about the 50-something singles scene with a female character inspired by Rocky Balboa. This intoxicating combination may well be what has enamoured critics and audiences alike worldwide.
Click here to view the trailer.