Review: The Glorias (Sundance 2020)

Title: The Glorias
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Julie Taymor
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Julianne Moore, Janelle Monáe
Runtime: 2 hrs 19 mins 

What It Is: Gloria Steinham (Vikander and Moore and Lulu Wilson and Ryan Kiera Armstrong) is a feminist revolutionary and journalist. In this director, Julie Taymor tells her story at various important parts of her life. From her youth growing up with a traveling hustler of a father to her mother’s institutionalization. From her start as a writer in New York to the creation of “Ms.” magazine that leads her down the activism route.

What We Think: This is a simple matter of all style and no real substance. This is sort of a hallmark of Taymor as a director. Look at her previous film the gorgeous, if not flawed, Across the Universe. There are some absolutely gorgeous shots here. Some of it though for absolutely no reason. It’s sort of a silly movie about a woman of great importance to the women’s movement in the United States. Gloria Steinham is such an important story and it just…it deserves a bit more coherence to itself. Taking from four parts of life and jumbling them all together doesn’t just tell the story. Throwing in other women’s rights advocates does not make the story more interesting…but casting Monae as Dorothy Pitman Hughes is an absolute stroke of genius.

Our Grade: C+, Sort of a disappointment. Man does Taymor make mundanity look good. Something as simple as two young girls at a barbershop turns into something far more interesting…even if this small moment feels out of place. Vikander is pretty good and Moore is her excellent always. I mean if the story interest you and you like Taymor’s style check this out. If you want an interesting and coherent look at the struggle of a woman and of women.

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