A former gun-moll becomes the reluctant protector of a child her mobster cronies are trying to kill.
I love Julia with Tilda Swinton so I had to watch GLORIA, the movie that inspired it all. I'm slowly getting into Cassavetes -- I watched A Woman Under the influence a few weeks ago. I love his way of observing, which is implemented into Gloria as well. Plus this film is quite a melodramatic throwback to camp cinema...while maintaining this awesome sense of realism despite its far-out plot.
Gena Rowlands is whisky as Gloria; a tough loner who protects a little boy from the mob. That alone sold me into this movie. Here's a movie that celebrates and perpetuates this amazing female character. Who is, as she admits, 'more than willing to blow someones brains out.' Gloria's awesomeness made…
This is nicely textured. It has a lot of personality to it; and Gena Rowlands is a commanding presence as the title character. Shot on location, in New York and Pittsburgh, the film is packed to the gills with atmosphere and a sense of time and place that is as palpable as any of the celebrated pictures Scorsese and Lumet put out in the 70s. There is also an effective, if slightly bombastic, musical score by Bill Conti.
But none of that great stuff is enough.
Cassavetes often said he believed "anyone could act." That may be true. But the fact of the matter is not just anyone can act well. This is especially true of an insufferable little boy…
Great moments but the music killed it for me.
Η Gena Rowlands γίνεται άθελά της ο θηλυκός Charles Brοnson και, παρά το cheesiness, το πουλάει το πιστολίδι. Θέλω να κάνω κάποια στιγμή gifάκια τις γκριμάτσες της.
"I hate kids. Especially your kids." Unfortunately, I agree with you, Gloria.
HOWEVER, this film gets by just fine on a crackling performance by Rowlands, the tip top NYC locations, and that wonderful Cassavetes' touch; the male touch I am must susceptible to (sorry Ernest - I still love you tho, sweetheart).
Also, surprisingly sweet.
Cassavetes takes the completely wrong approach in making a film about a woman who hates children who grows attached to a kid who is completely unsympathetic. Abstractly, I see what he wanted to accomplish, but this isn't quite a gangster film and it isn't quite a character picture and it isn't quite a thriller. A lot of time spent in a variety of seedy hotel rooms. Some fascinating late-70's NYC locations are not enough to salvage this for me, but Rowlands is always compelling, though she's had more to work with in other Cassavetes pictures.
I like "non-studio film Cassavetes" much better.
Children in movies can ruin it so hard.
Easily my least favorite of the Cassavetes films I've seen (he's one of my favorite directors, I consider Love Streams, Killing of a Chinese Bookie, A Woman Under the Influence, and Faces all to be masterpieces). This is partially due to the off-the-charts annoying kid, and partially due to the genre framework. Cassavetes' irrational characters just don't work when the stakes are upped to shootouts like this. The "think of it as a dream" angle doesn't do a whole lot to alleviate this, since the kind of surrealism that made Bookie a great Cassavetes gangster film is largely absent here. Still, there are some great touches, like the opening credits and the assortment of bit characters.