Leading ladies dominate Berlin film awards buzz

Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:21pm EST
 

By Mike Collett-White

BERLIN (Reuters) - If older women can't find work in Hollywood they might want to come to Berlin, where this year's film festival has been studded with performances by seasoned actresses that have put them and their movies in the running for top prizes.

The 11-day cinema event, centered around the main competition of 19 films but showcasing hundreds more, winds up with an evening awards ceremony on Saturday.

Jude Law, Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Matt Damon, Nicolas Cage and Catherine Deneuve all passed through, while after a string of critical flops at the start of the festival the reception has picked up.

The two frontrunners for the coveted Golden Bear for best picture, which can help bring a low-budget movie to an international audience, centre around strong women in their 50s and 60s who overshadow the men around them.

"Gloria", arguably the biggest hit at the 63rd Berlin film festival, stars Paulina Garcia as the eponymous Gloria, a 58-year-old divorcee living alone in Santiago where she is determined to enjoy life to the full.

She goes out dancing on singles nights, drinks, smokes, has affairs, stays in touch with her children and works full time.

Director Sebastian Lelio said his inspiration for the character was his mother and her generation, rarely tackled in cinema which tends to be obsessed with youth.

"We all face crossroads in our lives where we can retreat into ourselves or we can hit the dancefloor," he said.   Continued...

 
Actress Paulina Garcia poses during a photocall to promote the movie "Gloria" at the 63rd Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 10, 2013. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch