The first thing to know about Sebastián Lelio's upcoming film, Gloria Bell, is that he's made it before. And not in an A Star Is Born, once every 25 years kind of way — in a power move, the Chilean director who brought us A Fantastic Woman and Disobedience, has decided to remake Gloria, his own Spanish-language movie from 2013 which premiered at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival, and earned its star, actress Paulina Garcia, the Silver Bear for Best Actress.
It wouldn't be the first time a foreign language film is recast and repackaged for an American audience (see: Dinner for Shmucks, Taxi, Death At A Funeral, The Grudge, The Intouchables — the list goes on). But a scene-for-scene remake written and helmed by the original director isn't something you see every day.
Starring Julianne Moore as Gloria, a divorced woman in her 50s who spends her days playing it straight at the office, and her nights moonlighting as the heir to Meryl Streep's dancing queen crown, Gloria Bell takes the action to Los Angeles ("Where they play the right music / Getting in the swing / You come to look for a king"). One night Gloria meets Arnold (John Turturro) at the club, and after some seductive hip shaking, they're suddenly off the deep end, watch as they dive in. As you might expect, things get hugely complicated, as only romantic comedies can.
"As one of the greatest actresses in the world, Julianne giving her interpretation of the character is not only a huge honor, it's irresistible," Lelio said in May. "It's going to be like jazz, you’ll feel the spirit of the original story but it’ll be re-invigorated and vital."
Maybe he's onto something. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, and so far, the reviews are glowing.
Gloria Bell hits American cinemas on 8th March 2019, so we're hoping the UK release won't be far behind. But in the mean time, watch the trailer below, and try and tell me you're not flailing wildly to Laura Branigan's song by the end of it. You know the one.