Monday, May 4, 2020
Nate Hood's Quarentine Qapsule #29 Gloria  ★★★★½
Yet Gloria remains a film uniquely its own, impervious to copycats. Other films can mimic its style and story, but what they can’t replicate is the chemistry between its leads: Gloria, the reluctant mother, and Phil, the reluctant son. That Cassavetes coaxes a show-stopping performance from his wife Rowlands is hardly a surprise—the two had already spent decades making some of the most superbly acted American films of their era. And here in Gloria we see Rowlands stretch herself from her most manic to her most coolly controlled.
But the true revelation is Adames. Who is this child? Where did he come from? Why does he only have one acting credit on IMDb? And why didn’t he immediately become a star? Though not even old enough to see over the deli counter, he acts and talks like a tough guy would in one of Cassavetes’ other films, full of streetwise braggadocio with a swagger to match. But he’s never impetuous like a little boy trying (and failing) to act tough. This is a traumatized child who has realized his childhood is over and must become a man. So he plays the part the best his upbringing has prepared him. It’s one of the most perfectly realized performances in Cassavetes’ entire oeuvre, and it has a perfectly realized film to match.