Glory Screen 83 of 6 reviews

Glory

2016

Glory Poster
  • Tzanko’s quest to get the original watch back results in a bureaucratic nightmare. Not a predictable one, however, which is all to the benefit of this incisive, funny cinematic parable, shot and edited in a disarming, documentarylike style... The variable incongruities of “Glory” give it a queasy power uncommon in contemporary cinema. It’s the feel-bad movie of the spring.

  • If you thought that the infamous gold watch in Pulp Fiction caused a few problems, you should see what happens with the one in Glory (Slava), a sharply executed, superbly performed Bulgarian tragic dramedy where the lives of a cosmopolitan PR woman and lonely railroad worker come together in some highly unfortunate ways.

  • Much like the work of the auteurs of the Romanian New Wave, it generates its suspense from the inevitability of an outcome that simultaneously jostles corrupt but powerful institutions and makes unwitting monsters of those who try to combat it. The film excels at this kind of mutually assured dismay; its rough-hewn naturalism belies an exquisite sense of pace and a sneaky breed of gallows humor

  • Glory’s serious themes are tempered by jolts of comedy stemming from the parallel story line of Julia Staykova (Margita Gosheva), a ruthless PR executive who exploits and oppresses Tzanko... For all its traditional trappings, Glory excels at satirizing a hypocritical and pretentious society that makes and breaks its own heroes.

  • Grozeva and Valchanov’s ironic gloss on contemporary Bulgaria is not particularly innovative, but nevertheless packs a punch: autocratic Stalinist traditions have morphed into a new, “soft” capitalist authoritarianism where “the People” are given lip service while a New Class of postsocialist apparatchiks reap the benefits.

  • Even if occasionally overly facile in its clarion morality tale, the performances are convincing in a number of tricky roles, its direction restrained enough where it should be, despite the prevailing, obvious indignity.

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