Watch Now: GLORIA
Actor, director, screenwriter, producer. Multiple Academy Award-nominee John Cassavetes did it all. And was undeniably good at it. The late filmmaker’s 1980 neo-noir crime thriller Gloria, which he also wrote the screenplay for, was not only the tenth movie he directed, but also one of his last filmmaking endeavors. Starring Gena Rowlands, who Cassavetes was married to until his untimely death in 1989 and who asked her husband to direct the film in the first place, Gloria follows a middle-aged woman with a shady past. Rather reluctantly, she agrees to take into her care a six-year-old boy whose parents (her neighbors) are being pursued by gangsters.
Many of the odd couple’s scenes are filmed in wide shot, so as to highlight the unconventional dynamic between the two unlikely protagonists brought together by destiny. The film’s emotional complexity, as well as its nuanced atmosphere that walks a fine line between silliness and seriousness, make Gloria transcend the confines of its genre. The role of the titular character earned Gena Rowlands her second Academy Award nomination for best actress (the first one being for A Woman Under the Influence—yet another Cassavetes film) and rightfully so, for the performance is nothing short of electric.