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Critic’s Choice: Julianne Moore rings true in ‘Gloria Bell’

Julianne Moore in the movie "Gloria Bell."
(Hilary Bronwyn Gayle / A24)
Film Critic

Our movie culture is so awash in remakes, it’s a shame more of them aren’t as good or as purposeful as “Gloria Bell.” Starring a wonderful Julianne Moore as a divorced Angeleno tentatively giving love a second chance, this fine-grained romantic comedy-drama (available June 4 for home viewing) is an English-language retelling of “Gloria,” an equally strong 2013 Chilean production starring Paulina García. Both are directed by Sebastián Lelio (the Oscar-winning “A Fantastic Woman,” “Disobedience”), whose talents as a cultural chameleon are on abundant display here.

The two pictures would make for a deeply pleasurable double bill — and a revealing one too. The first “Gloria” had the benefit of originality and a trenchant political subtext rooted in recent Chilean history. “Gloria Bell” may feel like the looser, less tethered movie, though it’s just as movingly acted (John Turturro is superbly prickly as Gloria’s new beau), and no less complex or incisive in its assessment of the pleasures and indignities of middle age.

justin.chang@latimes.com

@JustinCChang

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