Friday Film Review -- "The Glorias"
"The truth will set you free...but first, it will piss you off!” declared Gloria Steinem.
Here's Barb Bretz with a review of The Glorias based on the life of Gloria Steinem.
The Glorias is not a documentary but it is a creative way of documenting someone's life. Director Julie Taymor also co-wrote the screenplay and her visionary story-telling is unique with too many magical moments and powerful quotes to list.
Like the notorious RBG, Gloria Steinem is one of the most important female figures of my lifetime and this film is based on her memoir My Life on the Road From her childhood in the '40s to her current role in the Women's Liberation Movement, Steinem is played by 4 different actresses. [Ryan Kiera Armstrong (childhood), Lulu Wilson (teen), Alicia Vikander (young adult) and Julianne Moore up to present day.] At several points in the movie all four of the Glorias ride in a bus "on the road" together questioning, comforting, and supporting each other. Eight year old Gloria looks up with sad eyes to 50 year old Gloria sitting beside her and in a weary voice asks, “Are we there yet?” Alas, Little Gloria...not quite yet.
Timothy Hutton and Enid Graham play her parents, who both influenced Gloria's life in different ways. Leo Steinem was a dreamer who favored a gypsy life, traveling the country searching for antiques. Ruth Steinem had been a former reporter and the daughter and granddaughter of women who worked outside the home decades before it was acceptable in our society.
As Gloria's activism progresses we meet an incredible group of women including; Bette Midler as Bella Abzug, Janel Monae as Dorothy Pitman Hughes, Lorraine Toussaint as Flo Kennedy, Kimberly Guerrero as Wilma Mankiller and Monica Sanchez as Delores Huerta.
More than a love letter to the Women's Liberation Movement, this film is an anthem to the empowerment of women. I cried several times but mostly out of pride for what these women accomplished and for what we now must constantly fight to uphold.
At Sundance director Taymor and Gloria did an extended Q & A. We learned the original ending was to be the celebrations the night Hillary Clinton was elected as the first woman president of the United States. Obviously, they needed to come up with a Plan B. When they did, it was powerful and hopeful like Gloria herself, who as she left her apartment that night to join the Clintons at the Javits Center, declared, “Now we have to look for the upside of the downside.”
What was the upside? The Women's March on January 21, 2017; 470,000 marchers in Washington, between 3-5 million across our country and over 7 million around the world!
The Glorias runs 2 hours and 19 inspirational minutes and can be streamed from Amazon Prime beginning September 30. Her memoir My Life on the Road is available at our libraries. This is Barb Bretz with your Friday Film Review. See you at the movies!