Increased life expectancy is generally a good thing but it does mean we have to deal with growing old differently now that the final stage in life is more than a brief wait for the inevitable. This potentially lengthy stage is often ill-served by films content to show aging people as sparky invalids, cantankerous sages or juveniles regressing into adolescence. Not so with Sebastián Lelio’s delightful portrayal of a woman adjusting to this new reality with gentle determination.
Gloria (Paulina Garcia), first introduced across a crowded room at a middle aged singles disco, is a 58 year old divorcee with 2 grown up children. She lives a solitary life in a small, cluttered apartment, but this is not an existence of lonely desperation. Although she’d like to see her son and daughter more often, she seems to have close relationships with both. Yet there is a space in her life that she’d like to have occupied and it’s not as simple as getting a pet if the neighbour’s cat she frequently removes from her home is anything to go by.