Coming to Digital and streaming exclusively on Prime Video from writer/director Julie Taymor and Roadside Attractions based on the book her book My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem is THE GLORIAS.
A young Gloria (Ryan Armstrong) is being raised by mother Ruth (Enid Graham) and father Leo (Timothy Hutton). Living from one money making plan to another, the family is constantly on the road. Eventually Gloria beings to understand what is happening with her parents as Ruth moves into a family home with her daughter.
Finding herself in India, Gloria (Alicia Vikander) begins to see the injustices that the women in the country endure. Returning home, she heads for New York trying to find work as a writer. Her writing jobs seem to focus more on the fashion and homemaker genre which is not something she is interested in.
Finally, a story of the working conditions of Playboy bunnies allows Gloria to do a serious piece that gets both good and bad reactions. The more articles she writes, the more she feels there are more important issues that need to be addressed and that women would welcome to read about.
Gloria (Julianne Moore) is till writing but finding herself going headfirst into the rights of women and finding other women that are like minded. Starting Ms. Magazine gets quite the reaction from the men and resounding applause from women. She knows there must be more as the ERA becomes her next focus with the help of Bella Abzug (Bette Midler), Flo Kennedy (Lorraine Toussaint) and so many more.
Friends like Wilma Mankiller (Kimberly Guerrero) of the Cherokee Nation, Gloria finds the sense of heading in the right direction with her goals of women’s rights and the stereotypes and stigmas that makes the women today freer to make their own way.
But there is still so much more to do!
Moore as Gloria gives a stunning performance as a woman who is pushed on a mission to help those who need it the most – women. Moore has the perfect demeanor to play Gloria Steinem and every moment she is on the screen I want to see more and more. Gone is the brilliant red hair for the iconic middle-parted hair with equally iconic glasses. Moore brings Gloria completely to the screen and her scenes with Vikander are brilliant and I loved them.
Vikander as the younger Gloria sets the groundwork for her ‘future’ life and work. Through her writing and tenacity, she paved her own way in showing the discrepancies that the country turned a blind eye to. Vikander gives her time period of Gloria the discovery of how she is perceived personally and professionally and does not accept it in the slightest. The trick is discovering how to make the change that makes the loudest noise to attract those who can also be part of the change.
Hutton as Leo is a father Gloria loves but as she grows older, she experiences the effects of his inability to be a stable figure in her life. In a young girl’s life, that can all be an adventure, but as Gloria gets older there becomes a time when all of it brings a hard decision. Graham as wife Ruth was once a writer herself but became a wife and mother. After years of uncertainty and no roots, it affects Ruth to the point of being debilitated.
Midler as Abzug is funny in her own way but also right in the way she says it. Midler was actually a great choice for this role. Toussaint as Kennedy also has the lungs and belief in what Gloria and the others are trying to do. I love the way she brings swag to a role.
Guerrero as Mankiller has not only generations of issues plaguing her people of the Cherokee nation but knows it is time to make a patriarchal change for leadership. Her portrayal and friendship with the Gloria’s are something I deeply related to and enjoyed. Both Guerrero and Moore’s scenes together are pure wonderful.
Other cast include Victor Slezak as Walter, Allie McCulloch as Brenda Feigen, Janelle Monae as Dorothy Hughes, Mo Plenty as Charlie Soap, Annika Pampel as Olga, charles Green as Ted White, Margo Moorer as Barbara Jordan, Bethany Geaber as Joanne Edgar, Monica Sanchez as Dolores Huerta, and Ariadne Joseph as Dr. Gloria Scott.
THE GLORIAS is a look at the life of Gloria Steinem from different ages in her life. What makes this film so unique are the conversations between the stages of her life filled with the uncertainties, questions, yet there is a comforting towards each of them with support and encouragement that I’m sure most of us wish we could do with our own era-selves.
Learning from an early age that fending for one’s self is difficult enough without the low expectations that men seem to have for the time, Steinem shares her journey. Daring to push further and further she gathered other likeminded women who saw the potential for change and did not stop until it reached the ears of the country. All of what these women did are being put to the test even today in our political climate. This is the perfect time for the film to be released.
The cast is amazing working together from the young Gloria of Ryan Armstrong, to Vikander, to Moore it is a smooth transition between them all. Even in flashbacks, director Taymor brings about a seamlessness so the story flows and hopefully right up to an Oscar.
In the end – she was part of a fight that needed winning!