The new Gloria Steinem biopic The Glorias stars Alicia Vikander, Julianne Moore, and the music that made Steinem a feminist icon.
Every song on The Glorias soundtrack helps tell the story of Steinem’s life. From a Hollywood obsessed tap dancer to a follower of Gandhi to the co-founder of Ms. Magazine with Dorothy Pitman Hughes (Janelle Monáe) these songs represents Gloria through the years. It’s the kind of mix you’d want to play as you drive cross country. Fitting, since the film, out on Amazon Prime Video now, is based on Steinem’s memoir My Life On The Road.
The film, directed by iconic Broadway helmer Julie Taymor, takes viewers on a surreal journey alongside a few different Glorias. All of whom have their own era-appropriate taste in music. Young Gloria (Ryan Kira Armstrong) grew up with Irving Berlin and Louis Prima playing on the jukebox her eccentric dad found curbside. A teenage Gloria (Lulu Wilson) plans to tap dance her way out of Toledo to the sounds of Guy Lombardo and Fred Astaire. Steinem’s time as a Playboy bunny is soundtracked by the music of the swingin’ ’60s, while her later years are a funky mix featuring Labelle, The Isley Brothers, and Rick James.
The film’s best musical moment might be the real footage of Mahalia Jackson singing at the 1963 March on Washington. That moment helps usher in Steinem’s political awakening, as well as so many others in America.