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Movie Review

Gloria

MPAA Rating: R for violence and language

Reviewed by: Mia J. Burruss
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Drama
Year of Release:
1999
R

Starring: Sharon Stone, Jean-Luke Figuero, Jeremy Northam, Cathy Moriarty, George C. Scott, Mike Starr, Barry McEvoy / Director: Sidney Lumet

It has been said that there is nothing new under the sun. That saying must be true of Hollywood as well. The remake of the 1980 movie “Gloria” builds a strong case for that argument.

Sharon Stone takes several steps back to her beginnings as a “B” movie actress in the role of Gloria, a not-so-bright blonde who took the rap for her criminal ex-boyfriend Kevin (Jeremy Northam).

Directed by Sidney Lumet, “Gloria” attempts to show a woman who has made all the wrong decisions in her life finally open her heart and do something right. Unfortunately, Lumet only remade the 1980 version; he never updated the movie. Much of the dialogue and the characters seem out of place and dated.

As expected in a movie that centralizes on criminals and their world, profanity is as exaggerated as the crooks wardrobe of shiny, expensive European designer shirts. God is mentioned most often amidst these regular outbursts of profanity. There is one scene in a church where Gloria enlists the help of a priest. But this is a last resort rather than an awakening to a relationship with God.

The main relationship of the film is between Gloria and Nicky Nunez (Jean-Luk Figueroa). Nicky falls into Kevin’s hands after his goons murder Nicky’s family in pursuit of a disk with incriminating information. After three years in a Miami prison, Gloria returns to Manhattan to claim a promise of money from Kevin for taking the rap. When Kevin reneges, Gloria takes Nicky after a brief battle with her conscious.

Cue the string music. Gloria discovers she actually cares about little Nicky and risks missing her parole hearing just to save him. The bond must have developed because they both have filthy mouths and bad attitudes.

One highlight of the film is the interaction between Nicky’s family. These Hispanic actors don’t get front billing because they only appear in the first few scenes in the movie. Lumet does give the audience an authentic view of everyday life in New York City. But is it authenticity viewers really want? Perhaps a documentary would be more entertaining and less offensive that Gloria.