The Glorias


“The Glorias” is a biopic of Gloria Steinem and the women’s movement up to the present day, with four actresses playing her at different ages: little girl, tween, young woman (she’s Alicia Vikander there), and adult (now she’s Julianne Moore). The director is Julie Taymor, the stage director who’s made a few visually inventive movies (“Titus,” “Frida,” “Across the Universe”). “The Glorias” is pretty straightforward, though, with just a few Taymorian flights of fancy and a narrative device that I liked where the different Glorias interact and question one another on a metaphysical bus.

But for the most part, it’s a regular biopic: Gloria’s childhood, her flaky father, her fear of public speaking, her getting over her fear of public speaking, dealing with sexist bosses, etc. There isn’t a lot of emotional connection — possibly because Steinem’s memoirs, from which it’s adapted, don’t have much to begin with. We get that she’s passionate about certain subjects, but we don’t see her show much emotion toward other people. Which, again, might just be how she is. Moore is good; Vikander less so; Bette Midler shows up as Bella Abzug, which is perfect. Also, “Bella Abzug” sounds like a Tolkien character.

B (2 hrs., 9 min.; R, some harsh profanity, racy images.)