From the Chicago Reader (January 29, 1999). — J.R.
Rating * Has redeeming facet
Directed by Sidney Lumet
Written by Steven Antin
With Sharon Stone, Jean-Luke Figueroa, Jeremy Northam, Cathy Moriarty, Mike Starr, Bonnie Bedelia, and George C. Scott.
I don’t much relish remakes, especially of movies I like — I’ve avoided seeing the new Payback, a retooling of John Boorman’s Point Blank (1967) — but the idea of Sidney Lumet remaking John Cassavetes’s Gloria (1980) with Sharon Stone seemed to offer possibilities. After all, Cassavetes wrote the script for MGM thinking someone else would direct it; he wound up directing it himself for Columbia only because his wife, Gena Rowlands, was the star and the studio asked him to. “Look, I’m not very bright,” he insisted in an interview. “I wrote a very fast-moving, thoughtless piece about gangsters. And I don’t even know any gangsters. Gloria has a wonderful actress and a very nice kid [John Adames] who’s neither sympathetic nor unsympathetic. He’s just a kid. He reminds me of me — constantly in shock, reacting to this unfathomable environment.” Later he added that when he began shooting Gloria, “I was bored because I knew the answer to the picture the minute we began….All my best work comes from not knowing.”
Enjoyable hokum at best, Cassavetes’s movie draws a lot of confidence from old-fashioned Hollywood tropes.… Read more »