The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza)

Posted 3 years ago by myetvmedia

The 2014 award season is shaping up to be pretty special for Italian director Paolo Sorrentino. His film “The Great Beauty” La Grande Bellezza took home the Golden Globe for best foreign language film and is one of the leading contenders to take home an Oscar in the same category. We caught up with Mr. Sorrentino during Tiff 2013 to talk about his inspirations in creating “The Great Beauty”.

 

The Great Beauty Review

The Great Beauty, “La Gande Bellezza” by director Paolo Sorrentino, starring Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone and Sabrina Ferilli has captured international recognition. A sumptuous and very unusual film. It is nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Golden Globe, a BAFTA Best International Independent Film, it is Italy’s submission to the Oscars and has already won 3 European Film Awards amongst many others.

The Great Beauty is Jep Gamberdella’s (Toni Servillo) story. Jep is an Italian, a Roman, a man of power and means and who has been the toast of Rome for decades.  Jep has it all, money, fame, power, all thanks to a façade he has very carefully constructed over many years. Jep’s influence is extensive and he has the power to make or break important social events. The film opens with the occassion of his 65th birthday party, an extravagantly decadent event featuring table dancers, snooty actors, and drunken debauchery. The camera follows him as he goes about his life, insulting people he doesn’t like and carefully keeping himself aloof. As the story unfolds we discover secrets about his way of life, a life that from the outside may seem totally enviable but in the end may not be bringing him happiness.

The Great Beauty isn’t a movie with a story, it’s a snapshot of Rome immediately before and after the current economic crisis. There is no real plot, it’s just Jep wandering around a city that is still half-asleep, trying to make sense of it. Along the way, he encounters strippers, drug addicts, failed writers, and grieving widowers.

It’s a great movie, with an amazing performance by Servillo. My one criticism is, it is monstrously long. Some more time in the editing room to cut a few scenes would not have hurt, especially considering the amount of very dull scenes. As it stands, this is a great snapshot of Rome, past and present.

 

Donal O’Connor

Shown at TIFF13 : Toronto International Film Festival.

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