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Monday, May 08, 2006

Every Little Thing

Excerpts from articles published in the Observer

Glory to Glorianna movie
No Glory, No Grace

Self-promotion notwithstanding, the Gloria Minto profiled in the pages of this newspaper as one of the 2005 Business Leader nominees is a model of determination, resourcefulness and a certain noble striving for economic and social mobility against the formidable odds of social and gender prejudices and poverty.

That Gloria is largely absent from this production (the movie is said to take its cues from Minto's own memoirs, From Glory to Glorianna) and therein lies its downfall.

What the viewer gets instead is a kind of Royal Palm Unbound (the common players between both projects is not the basis for this assessment, but in some ways it doesn't help) with even less restraint than the already profligate and admittedly popular television series.

The feature begins with a party at the poolside of Hotel Gloriana and Spa, the heroine's crowning achievement. There, amid the paces of a reggae band and tedious close-ups of the copious food and drink on offer, Gloria reunites with 'childhood friend' Precious (more on her later) and the two repair to Gloria's pad for some reminiscing.

This is the vehicle through which the story is told, beginning with little Gloria, meeting her life's inspiration, Anna (who then goes 'poof' until the very end of the film), and losing her father (who 're-appears' at odd junctures with cloying doses of self-help verbiage) in quick succession.

Fast-forward to the teen Gloria, who is bewitched (our only conclusion) by Milton, the prototypical village ram, whose idea of a great first date is a drink and a dance at the local go-go bar.

After such an outstanding proposition, it's an entirely logical progression: they have sex, this time in the nearby river, and Gloria becomes pregnant. All of which greatly angers Betsy, Milton's former - and future - regular gig.

The main premise thus established at this point, the film gives us one more solid look at Gloria the entrepreneur and would-be success story when she decides to go into the Montego Bay market to sell oranges.


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