The heroine of Umberto Tozzi’s song “Gloria,” according to the Laura Branigan cover that rocked U.S. charts in 1982, is a woman in search of something that might not exist anymore. “I think you’ve got to slow down / Before you start to blow it / I think you’re headed for a breakdown / So be careful not to show it,” Branigan sings on the upbeat disco track. Her take was a total reworking of Tozzi’s original, more conventional love ballad. And while the Chilean director Sebastián Lelio used the Tozzi song as the main character’s theme for his 2013 film, Gloria, the movie had the spirit of Branigan’s version: an alternately melancholic and hopeful look at a 50-something divorced woman’s efforts to reenter the dating scene.
Now, perhaps fittingly, Gloria is getting its own American update. The version currently in theaters, also directed by Lelio, is titled Gloria Bell, and Julianne Moore (who reportedly developed the idea of a remake with Lelio) takes on the lead role first performed by Paulina García. But where the U.S. cover of Tozzi’s song changed its meaning in surprising ways, this cinematic update is a pretty loving copy of Lelio’s 2013 film. If you’ve seen the original, the similarities might be too much to take. But if you never caught Gloria, Gloria Bell stands by itself nicely—a totally captivating yarn that gives Moore center stage to do the kind of rich, arresting work that actresses in their 50s can rarely find in Hollywood.