Gloria (1999)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

USA, 1999.  Columbia Pictures Corporation, Eagle Point Production, Mandalay Entertainment.  Screenplay by , based on the screenplay by .  Cinematography by David Watkin.  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Sharon Stone‘s gutsy performance is the best reason to watch this adequately done but premature remake of John Cassavetes’ 1980 gangster film (that starred his wife Gena Rowlands, who also starred with Stone a year earlier than this film in The Mighty).  She plays a hit woman for the mob who has just gotten out of jail in Florida after taking the fall for her boys, the finds herself back in New York, saddled with a recently orphaned kid who witnessed her friends killing his entire family.  Gloria is on the run without anyone to turn to, with a kid she doesn’t know what to do with, and an appointment with a parole officer in Miami that she doesn’t want to miss. There is nothing exceptional about the film in its creation: the direction is adequate, the production design is exactly what is necessary, and all the ensemble actors (including  and George C. Scott in his last silver screen appearance) perform their jobs, collect their paycheques and go home. What fully stands out is that Stone is so nuanced and attractive a personality that an entire film can rest on her shoulders comfortably without her ever letting the ball touch the ground. Brilliant supporting performances by  and Cathy Moriarty really stand out in the cast and add a lot to the experience as well, but I find myself wondering why a well-known movie from the eighties is being remade in the nineties.

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