Entering Gloria’s house unbeknownst to her, Roman examines her books, clothes and photographs and reads her diary, mentally piecing together a life for her beyond the career-driven facade she presents to the world. When she returns home unexpectedly, he hides in the closet and observes through a crack in the door. The painful reality of the woman’s life proves far more compelling than anything the chastened Roman could have imagined.
The film makes intelligent points about deceptive appearances, stereotypes, voyeurism and privacy, and the pressures of a competitive world.
But while Lee’s attempt to maneuver between contrasting styles represents a commendably risky, bold approach for a first-time director, the drama’s impact ultimately is diluted by everything that surrounds and distracts from Hart’s unflinching turn.
An experienced stage performer in her first film role, the actress brings potency and a dark sense of exposure to Gloria’s disturbing solo seduction games and her trance-like, progressively more distraught ritual of gorging and throwing up, made even more pathetic by the crisply efficient removal of the evidence the following morning.