Volume 92, Issue 66
Tuesday, January 26, 1999
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Stereotypes take glory out of Gloria
Photo by Brian Hamill
By Sarah Duda
Why must Hollywood continue to feed audiences recycled movies? Sabrina, A Perfect Murder, Psycho and now Gloria, are all good examples of films which should not have been remade. Especially Gloria.
Still, for one reason or another, director Sidney Lumet has decided to resurrect an old, obscure John Cassavetes movie. In the new version of Gloria, Sharon Stone supports the role originally played by Gena Rowlands. Stone plays the stereotypical tough broad, delivering such lines as "I don't get scared, I get pissed off" in an irritating New York accent.
What would it take to show Stone the error of her ways and motivate her to adopt a more wholesome and law-abiding lifestyle? It's simple all it takes is one small boy and a large dose of maternal instinct.
Stone returns from a three-year stay in prison and discovers her thug boyfriend (Jeremy Northam) and his gang plan to do away with their current problem, a little boy named Nicky (Jean-Luke Figueroa). Of course Stone cannot bear to see this happen and she grabs the kid and they flee together.
Stone has no intention of holding onto the boy and she is clueless in the ways of motherhood. In an attempt to explain the preciousness of life to seven-year-old Figueroa, she tells him he is young and still has a lot of love to make, booze to drink and gambling to do.
Audiences can no longer deny Stone is perfectly equipped to become this boy's mother and neither can she. The moral of the story is unmistakable. All women are destined to become mothers. Stone is not tough, she's a wannabe mom.
Gloria's character is a series of stale stereotypes woven together in a single film. It borrows small bits from Pretty Woman, The Full Monty and Goodfellas and throws in the obligatory high speed car chase. It leaves audiences with a disjointed story and a number of useless and undeveloped characters.
Stone does an adequate portrayal of the streetwise, tough girl. The problem is, Gloria could have been a far more interesting character if the movie had focused less on her tight clothes and long legs and more on the feelings throwing her into action. Gloria's emotions and sensibilities are left in virtual obscurity, as are those of lesser characters.
The cinematography is not thrilling either. Most scenes are an unsatisfying combination of uninteresting sequences of events, coupled with characters and their dull conversations. It is a confusing jumble of murky characters and an even murkier plot.
Is it an action movie or is it a drama? And if it is a drama, then why are the dramatic scenes unable to convey any clear sense of the feelings being explored to audience members?
Gloria is a film which should have remained lost in the cinematic past.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999