I think I did a disservice to the sex in the film Gloria in my review this week. I wanted for the mere fact of older people having sex—no, it must be said: the mere fact of older people fucking—on film to be something normal, not something noteworthy.
...Gloria's life isn't over. She goes to a singles bar crowded with people her age (such places apparently exist in Chile), and she dances and laughs and picks up the charming Rodolfo (Sergio Hernández). The camera, which likes to linger in general in Gloria, records their first tryst, then more later. Much will probably be made of the frank nudity of their older bodies, but unless you actually believe porn, the shock should be minimal. This isn't soft-focused, romanticized, sunset-of-life lovemaking, either; it's the unflinching, driven coupling of two people who just don't happen to be the age of those usually depicted having sex on film. As [Paulina] García said in an interview with NPR, "Look, I'm not Cate Blanchett. I'm a Chilean actress who has three children, and I am what you see. And [director Sebastián Lelio] told me, 'Look, I know how you look, and that is exactly what I want...'"
But it is notable, at least in the good ol' sexist/ageist U.S. of A. It should be pointed out, point-blank: It's still revolutionary here to portray human sexuality in mainstream movies outside of the sanitized coupling of perfect, extruded-looking heterosexual body doubles or, you know, women's breasts. It's still far, far from the norm. The release of the Chilean film Gloria is important, here, in this regard.
(And all this aside, you really should see Gloria. Paulina García's performance is a thing to be marveled at, frame by frame—and she's in every frame of the movie. Before this, she acted in soap operas for decades, making the nuance she conveys here particularly remarkable. Or is that another prejudice?)