A lot of ‘The Glorias’ seem like a good idea – Julie Taymor directing, Julianne Moore and Alicia Vikander sharing roles as adult Gloria Steinem, an all star supporting cast – but how come the movie falls flat? The film has a feel of a Wikipedia page, and Moore looks bored in the role. It’s a shame because Steinem is certainly an important figure in modern history, and surely there has to be more to her than this lifeless biopic?
The first half tracks better – we see her childhood and her relationship with her father, played by Timothy Hutton. Vikander is helped by a more interesting plot line, but when Moore comes in, the script goes nowhere, as Steinem just goes from one rally to another, without any interesting narrative to go with it. Taymor tries to keep things busy, with whimsical fantasy sequences that seem to come out of nowhere (and feels a bit out of context, top be honest) Bette Midler and Janelle Monae are both breaths of fresh air, having fun in their roles as Dorothy Pitman Hughes and Bella Abzug (Doesn’t Abzug remind you of AOC?) but their presence are brief to be truly meaningful. When you see the real Steinem towards the end in a 2017 rally appearance, you get a glimpse of the energy of what the film could have been.