Gloria (15) Heart of Hawick

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When people talk of “women of a certain age”, what do they mean? Over the hill? What hill?

Gloria fits the category while avoiding the obvious. It’s one thing for daddy cool wannabees clubbing it large with the E-generation, but a whole other thing for fiftysomething divorcees getting down and dirty in a tango singles bar.

Middle-aged ladies who want to live a bit before being boxed are dismissed as mutton dressed, or surgically embarrassed. Not anymore. Not here.

This is Santiago. Dancing is in the blood and Gloria (Paulina Garcia) likes it. Her children have grown and gone. Her husband has traded her for a younger model. She’s looking for a man with acceptable baggage and hips that still respond to the rhythm. She’s not desperate enough to sign up for electro facial massage. She’s naturally positive. And fun.

She wears big glasses. She sings in the car. She considers good behavior restrictive and quite boring, which is why she finds Rodolfo’s (Sergio Hernandez) seductive technique amusing. He’s older, says he loves her, and still performs with adequate ease.

What is this? A rom-com for wrinklies?

Rodolfo is not what he seems. Neither is she. The film is a celebration of trust, for whatever reason and however misplaced.

If love was a song, it would be tinged with regret. Gloria has the instincts of an eagle and the courage to fly. The film may be slow to connect yet hard to resist. Beneath the rubble of broken promises, it is softer than velvet.