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One of my personal favorites from this past year’s Toronto International Film Festival (where it was announced as Chile’s representative in the race for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards), Gloria focuses on a dynamic fiftysomething divorcee with two grown children in Santiago confronting the bleak dating realities for a woman of a certain age who refuses to settle.

Director Sebastián Lelio (who co-wrote the script with Gonzalo Maza) and Paulina Garcia, as the indomitable title character, present this woman’s journey with a mixture of humor and drama that pities or judges Gloria in any given situation, which guarantees that her story engages us, but never becomes cartoonish. Gloria will survive and serve as a lesson for us all. (R) Grade: A-