Gloria (Paulina García) is a divorcée in her fifties or sixties sampling the Santiago, Chile, singles scene for older folks. Since she’s happy with her work and gets on well with her grown-up kids, she’s mostly content with one-night stands. Then she meets Rodolfo (Sergio Hernández), a gentle, quietly spoken businessman who clearly adores her, but who comes with baggage of his own.
Sebastián Lelio’s fine film boasts subtly nuanced, plausible performances, none more so than García as the strong-willed, fun-loving but sometimes lonely protagonist. Though it’s most successful as a character study, the movie also works as an unusually honest variation on the traditional cinematic love story (it rings especially true on the difficulties of starting over after years of settled family life). It also serves, in passing, as a portrait of a certain comfortably-off segment of Chilean society, still somewhat unsure as to how to cope with its recent history. There are just a couple of moments that don’t altogether convince: The predictable closing scene, especially, feels a little too neat and manipulative.
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