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The Glorias movie review: on Prime Video


Lorraine Toussaint and Julianne Moore in Glories.
Photo: Dan McFadden / Roadside Attractions

Glories is a biopic by Gloria Steinem who, like her subject, refuses to follow the traditional path. Instead of starting from the start of the Steinems experiences and following a straight chronological line through them, the film, directed by the ever- Julie Taymor, jumps forward and backward through different eras of her life, delving into meaningful moments. childhood, adolescence, and various phases of adulthood, including Steinems’ emergence as a feminist activist in the 1970s. It’s a daring cinematic approach that can’t quite overcome nature by heart of a screenplay which, as co-adapted by Taymor and playwright Sarah Ruhl from Steinems’ memoir, My life on the road, try to put a lot of biographical details into one piece.

The plural nature of the film’s title refers to the fact that there are four Glorias in Glories: the daughter (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) who, along with the rest of her family, is indebted to the whims of her eccentric, travel-oriented father (Timothy Hutton); the teenager (Lulu Wilson) who feels responsible for her depressed and anxious mother (Enid Graham); the young woman (Alicia Vikander) who travels around India and begins to make a name for herself as a journalist; and the older woman (Julianne Moore) who founds SP. magazine and finds her voice as America’s most famous advocate for women’s rights.

In a common motif, the four of us see these Glorias riding around on a Greyhound bus, en route to a destination that remains unknown until the end of the movie, occasionally talking to each other, wondering what choices they (her? ) Have done or will do. Some scenes start with a Gloria and take place at a completely different time, with a different Gloria, than the one initially involved. At one point, Armstrongs Gloria is in the backseat of a car, crying as pro-life protesters knock on windows and yell at her. When the car stops and the back door opens, it’s actually Moores Gloria who emerges, ready to give a homily in 1978 at St. Joan of Arc Church in Minneapolis. (Yes, that caused some controversy at the time.)

All the switching between periods and Steinems is effective in conveying the idea that a woman can only evolve if she moves forward while still staying in touch with who she once was. It also touches on one of the film’s sub-texts: that women constantly have to play different roles based on their own desires and the often conflicting expectations of society. The problem is, all of this movement makes it hard to keep up. completely install in the film. or to feel like spending time really getting to know Steinem. Logically, the brain understands that these four Glorias are the same person, but emotionally this connection is more difficult to make, even though all the actors do a solid job inhabiting it. Vikander, in particular, captures Steinems’ mannered manner of speaking, as well as the warmth she exudes towards other women.

Without fail of the films, which are now available exclusively on Prime Video, it also happens to arrive soon after. Mrs. America, the FX on Hulu limited series about the 70s feminist movement that covers part of the same territory as Glories Is. When the film introduces us to other leaders of the pro-ERA fight, like Flo Kennedy (played in a performance hosted by Lorraine Toussaint) and Bella Abzug (Bette Midler), then takes us to the historic National Women’s Conference of 1977, some viewers may feel like they have seen this movie before. They may also feel like they have a more nuanced take on at least part of Steinems’ life, as Rose Byrne and only Rose Byrne do, while watching this series as well.

Glories treats Steinem with extreme reverence, which is no surprise, since she was involved in the production. Frankly, reverence is appropriate in this case, although it would have added more layers to the film if Taymor spent more time considering its shortcomings as well. The film certainly humanizes him. We watch Gloria struggle with the fear of speaking in public, the guilt of not visiting her father in the hospital before his death, and the anger at herself for not standing up more firmly for the male editors, including the male editors of this magazine. But the film never lets you forget that Gloria Steinem is an icon, especially in her final twist.

There are directorial urges that, like much of the movie, are beautifully shot and interesting to watch, but don’t add substance or deeper insight to the overall story. One of those thefts begins with an interview with a talk show host who refers to Steinem as a sex object and then turns into a series of images of Glorias in different forms, the nun Playboy Bunny, who then whips up the host through a tornado in a Wizard of Ozian flourish. In another blatantly metaphorical sidebar that’s also reminiscent of a Talking Heads music video, Moores Steinem is walking a long road as the yellow sidewalk lines cross his face. Taymor undoubtedly included these moments for a reason, but it’s not immediately obvious what that reason is.

A film about such a pivotal figure who has fought and still fights so hard for gender equality should be very emotional, especially if you are a woman. Strangely, Glories never does that. With a two-and-a-half-hour runtime, it lasts too long and doesn’t go deep enough to register as it should. At one point on that bus ride, Little Girl Gloria asks the other Glorias, are we still here? Girl, how I felt.

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