VOD REVIEW: The Glorias valiantly highlights Steinem’s evolution, but the film itself feels dated

The Glorias is an ambitious effort to chronicle the live, struggles and changes feminist icon Gloria Steinem went through in her life.

The problem is that ambition doesn’t translate. We’re given a jumble of flashbacks, four different actresses playing Steinem at different points, and a myriad of other characters and perspectives.

By the end of the labourious two-and-a-half hour film, I found myself wondering whether I was watching one of the fantasy sequences or the film’s reality. The storytelling is non-linear and veers in different directions.

Director Julie Taymor is the person behind some fantastic features, including Frida and one of my favourites, Across The Universe, but she fumbles here. She simply tries to do too much.

I can’t help but look at the FX mini-series Mrs. America. Though it’s focus is Phyllis Schiafly, Steinem is expertly portrayed here by Rose Byrne, with less screen-time.

The actresses, for their part, are top-notch. Alicia Vikander and Julianne Moore, both incredible, own the screen and bring their own interpretations while they embody Steinem at different points.

Timothy Hutton, Bette Midler and Janelle Monae are fabulous. Hats off, though, to another evocative performance from Lorraine Toussaint, who I loved in Orange Is the New Black. She is fierce and fantastic here, and stands out among her illustrious company.

The Glorias is well-intentioned, has a fantastic subject and great performances, but it’s unfocused and lacks narrative drive. It’s too long by three quarters of an hour, and you may find yourself better served reading a Steinem book than you will delving into all these Glorias.

2.5/5 Stars

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