The Great Beauty (2013)


The Great Beauty – Paolo Sorrentino

La grande bellezza (original title)

Summary:  Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) is turning 65 years old.  A member of Rome’s high society, he’s revered among his peers since hitting success with his first and only novel written in his twenties and his following journalistic career, spanning the rest of his life.  He welcomes his sixty-fifth birthday with a lavish, yet familiar rooftop party, soon to have his contentment thrown by a series of events.  A shock from the past changes his disposition and leaves him feeling unfulfilled.  He tires of the constant parties and tries to look beyond the superficiality of art, of people and of his lifestyle, to keep returning to the same theme and the same search for ‘the Great Beauty.’

My Review:  I was seriously impressed by The Consequences of Love, the first and only Paolo Sorrentino film I had ever watched.  Combine this with a film title like The Great Beauty, it was hard not to just lay down, kick back and expect to be amazed.  What I found instead was a film with a number of hidden, intricate meanings of ageing, death and fulfillments, set within the beautiful backdrop of Rome.  Perhaps Jep unpeels to finds ‘the great beauty’ in his life is actually Rome, that he’s never found the unrequited love or been able to pin down his second novel.  A number of meanings can be picked from the movie (of which please feel free to comment below with yours), leaving it very ambiguous and almost a world apart from The Consequences of Love.  Actor Toni Servillo transforms his character from a man with dry humour and quick wit, to a wandering soul swept up in the intensity of his own bewildering feelings.  A film that sits and stays with you a while, to be watched at least for the beautifully decadent shots of Rome.

My Rating: 3/5

What’s your favourite Italian film?  Leave you recommendations below!

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