Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Cast: Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli
Duration: 142 mins
Rating: MA15+ – Strong nudity
Release Date: 23 January, 2014
The New Daily says:
Jep Gambardella, the central character in Paolo Sorrentino’s love letter to Rome, is a 65-year-old journalist who’s more style than substance – a bit like this dazzling film itself. Still, you can’t help falling in love with both of them. Gamberdella (Tony Servillo) has lived without any great emotional attachments, preferring Rome’s high-life, late nights and the Euro-trash who inhabit it. But soon after celebrating his landmark birthday in typically energetic style he learns that the first love of his youth has died, forcing him to re-appraise what might have been a wasted life. Breathtakingly beautiful, endlessly thought-provoking and very, very Italian, it’s perhaps a little long at two hours, 22 minutes. Then again, you can always use the downtime to plan your next visit to the eternal city, which is the real star of this virtuoso piece.
Stephen A. Russell says: Sure, at almost two and a half hours The Great Beauty’s length is a tad indulgent, but when a film looks as glorious as this and when it grants access to so many of the Eternal City’s hidden nooks and crannies, as well as its sweeping public spaces, it’s a welcome detour indeed. Courtesy of The Lowdownunder
The Guardian says: “Paolo Sorrentino’s La Grande Bellezza is a compelling tragicomedy of Italy’s leisured classes in the tradition of Antonioni’s La Notte or Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. It is a pure sensual overload of richness and strangeness and sadness, a film sometimes on the point of swooning with dissolute languour, savouring its own ennui like a truffle. But more often it’s defiantly rocking out, keeping the party going as the night sky pales, with all the vigour of well-preserved, middle-aged rich people who can do hedonism better than the young.”
Margaret and David say: Margaret: “So I think we ought to say to people it may not be for everybody. We really love it. Well, I love it. Four stars.” David: “Well, no, I got to love it too, I must say, and by the end, those wonderful closing credits, look, I think it’s really an important film and a very, very beautiful film. Four stars.”
The New Yorker says: “The face of Toni Servillo is one of the treasures of modern cinema. If it is not a wholly modern face, that only increases the depth of its appeal. Certainly no better face could be imagined for a film like The Great Beauty, which takes place in Rome, and which draws all its energy, as well as its majestic lassitude, from that city.”
See it: If you’re planning a trip to Italy or want to indulge in some visual delight.