3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Julie Taymor
Writer: Julie Taymor, Sarah Ruhl, Gloria Steinem
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Julianne Moore, Lulu Wilson, Janelle Monáe
Genre: Biography, Drama
Rated: R for some language and brief lewd images
SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – Synopsis: The life of women’s rights activist and journalist Gloria Steinem.
Review: Change and revolution doesn’t come from one voice or one moment. It is a chorus that rises from a hundred different actions. We’ve talked about Ruth Bader Ginsburg a lot lately, rightfully so. Bader helped to change the world. Let’s also look at Gloria Steinem, a feminist cut from a different cloth. They both served a common goal of equality and a love for language.
Steinem’s life was far more public and as a result is better suited for the big screen. Whereas Ginsburg spent her time in courtrooms fighting for the respect of her colleagues, Steinem was fighting against the idea that women couldn’t be serious journalists. When silenced by her editors, she spoke at rallies and eventually was part of the group of women who started Ms. Magazine.
Julie Taymor’s film is and isn’t a traditional biopic. It’s experimental in the sense that the narrative isn’t linear. Steinem at different points in her life is played by Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Lulu Wilson, Alicia Vikander and Julianne Moore and Steinem herself. There are scenes where older and younger versions of Steinem interact with each other while traveling on a bus. These moments are nearly as strange or as poignant as you might think. Maybe if it was used more sparingly, it would have been more effective.
My favorite scenes often featured Vikander paired with Janelle Monáe as activist Dorothy Pitman Hughes. There is an energy shared between them. An excitement that surrounds them.
“The Glorias” is a good and often effective film. It successfully introduces Steinem, explores her origins, her self-discovery and her strength. The film feels a bit safe and a little long but is absolutely recommended.