The Great Beauty
THE GREAT BEAUTY (La grande belleza)
Run time: 2h21m
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Cast: Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli
Paolo Sorrentino (This Must Be the Place (2011) returns to his Italian homeland with this lush study of longing and regret, set against the all-night parties and carnival atmosphere of contemporary Rome. Jep (Toni Servillo) a one-time author turned socialite looks back at his life, wondering if his failure to write another novel or to start a family is his own doing, or if Italian society at large is to blame.
This year is the 20th anniversary of the death of Fellini and The Great Beauty evokes both La Dolce Vita and 8½. With its series of impressions, exploring life, love, philosophy and religion it offers a rich picture of a society rotting at its core.
Vivid, lush and very stylish in a language of his own, the film consolidates Sorrentino’s reputation as a master film-maker with an impressive decade’s worth of films – One Man Up (2001), The Consequences of Love (2004), IL Divo (2008), The Family Friend (2006) and This Must Be the Place (2011). Another stunning feature is Sorrentino’s elegiac soundtrack combining an original score by Lele Marchitelli and a choice selection of classical music (Arvo Pärt; Bizet, Górecki, John Tavener) combined with modern pop songs.
The Great Beauty is a masterpiece of modern film-making.
(Available to view on the Glasgow Film Theatre Player)