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Starring: Sharon Stone, Jeremy Northam, Cathy Moriarty, Jean-Luke Figueroa, Mike Starr, George C. Scott
Category: Drama (Available for Rental)
Rating: R
Released: 1999
Available for rental.

Gloria demands a suspension of disbelief. Disbelief that anyone could fling such a horrific Brooklyn accent around and still get paid. But Sharon Stone, portraying the title character, did it - and with some over-the-top acting thrown in for spice. This is the first impressions, however. In a stangely balanced see-saw, as Gloria's maternal feelings emerge, so too does her put-on accent seem to fade and Stone's handling of the character improve.

This is the story of a woman who took the three-year fall for her mobster boyfriend (played by a oddly-greasy, gum-chewing, and appropriately-accented Northam). Gloria discovers Kevin hasn't changed enough for her, and in the process of stripping him naked - she steals a newly-orphaned boy and with a computer disk from him. Yes, this is another movie wherein Northam chases a floppy - but that's where the similarity with The Net (1995, with Sandra Bullock) ends. Northam's Kevin seems as lost knowing what to do with Gloria, as Gloria knows what to do with the six-year-old boy (sweetly done by newcomer Figueroa).

Sharon Stone as Gloria   Jeremy Northam as Kevin

The supporting cast is as capable as they are colorful, which left me wondering why anyone thought the "must-meet-my-parole-officer-in-Florida-on-Monday" bookend was necessary. The already intense players didn't need the little oomph added by such an obvious plot device - one would think the dead bodies and trailing Caddies would be enough to move things along. Moriarty is Gloria's madam friend, Starr is a cruel henchman, and veteran Scott plays Kevin's boss and Gloria's ex-lover - and possibly her present saviour. A special appearance is made by Bonnie Bedelia, as Gloria's successful, but unsympathetic, sister.

See Gloria to see how people can change when faced with new situations, and how the strong can be made stronger when put under stress. It's diamond potential at its best - what else from Director Sydney Lumet? Be warned, it's rated R for a reason, in this case the full measure for language, violence, brief nudity (male rears), and adult theme.

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Copyright 1999 by Kathe