The Great Beauty 2013

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(129) IMDb 7.7/10
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Jep Gambardella, a 65-year-old journalist and once promising novelist, spends his easy life among Rome‚s high society in a swirl of rooftop parties and late-night soirees. But when he learns of the death of his friend‚s wife ‚ a woman he loved as an 18-year-old ‚ his life is thrown into perspective and he begins to see the world through new eyes. A dazzling, dizzying, mesmerising and hypnotic cinematic tour-de-force that has drawn comparisons with Italian greats such as La Dolce Vita and La Notte. A triumphant return to form for world-renowned visionary director Paulo Sorrentino (Il Divo, This Must Be The Place). Starring the multi award-winning Toni Servillo (Il Divo, Gomorrah). Official Selection at the Cannes Film Festival 2013, the film was hotly tipped for the Palme d‚Or. 5 STARS ‚ Time Out, The Telegraph, The Irish Times.

Starring:
Sabrina Ferilli, Iaia Forte
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 21 minutes
Starring Sabrina Ferilli, Iaia Forte, Pamela Villoresi, Toni Servillo, Massimo Popolizio, Carlo Verdone, Giorgio Pasotti, Carlo Buccirosso
Director Paolo Sorrentino
Genres Comedy
Studio Artificial Eye
Rental release 13 January 2014
Main languages Italian
Subtitles English
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 21 minutes
Starring Sabrina Ferilli, Iaia Forte, Pamela Villoresi, Toni Servillo, Massimo Popolizio, Carlo Verdone, Giorgio Pasotti, Carlo Buccirosso
Director Paolo Sorrentino
Genres Comedy
Studio Fusion Media Sales
Rental release 13 January 2014
Main languages Italian
Subtitles English

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 Dec. 2014
Format: DVD
Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar-winning 'epic’ could, indeed, lay claim to the title of Jean Renoir’s 1937 masterpiece being, as it is, one of the most cutting satires on the pretences of modern (Italian) life, as well as being one of the most stunning pieces of visual art, to have graced cinema screens in recent times (for which, congratulations to The Academy for bestowing its prize). Of course, some (many? – myself included) have accused Sorrentino’s cinema of representing 'style over substance’ and there are 'suspicions’ of that in this tale of Toni Servillo’s increasingly world-weary hedonist and journalist, 65-year old Jep Gambardella and his gradual coming to terms with his superficial, wasted existence, but (in the end) Servillo’s nuanced, increasingly human, performance, the sharp dialogue (which Sorrentino co-wrote with Umberto Contarello) and the film’s sheer visual brilliance (courtesy of regular cinematographer Luca Bigazzi) carries the day for me.

That’s not to say that The Great Beauty is a flawless work. Its episodic nature, generally unsympathetic characters and near two-and-a-half hour length will put off some, but Sorrentino’s ear for witty dialogue and (particularly) eye for panoramic sweeps or idiosyncratic detail provides a near endless stream of engaging set-pieces – for me, his visual sense is only rivalled (from film-makers of the last couple of decades) by Krzysztof Kieslowski.
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91 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Carmelo on 17 Sept. 2013
Format: DVD
Totally disagree with the previous review. thought the movie was incredibly engrossing and enjoyed every minute of the 2hr30min duration. For starters, it's a feast for the eyes. Rome itself and the way it is portrayed through the director's beautiful camera work would be enough of a spectacle even without the otherwise beautiful thought-provoking lines the film is punctuated with. I must disagree about the presumed missing depiction of the beauty of ordinary peoples' lives too. In fact it is admirably represented by the likes of Ramona who is a genuine woman devoid of all pretension and yet capable of deep thoughts, such as when she says to a jaded Jep after a night spent together: 'It was great not having sex, it's great being fond of one another', leaving him stunned. Other 'ordinary' people who are juxtaposed to the vacuous partying multitude are Jep's friend, the playwright, who eventually decides to leave that empty world behind and go back to his home village. The theme of going back to one's roots being elegantly represented with a food metaphor through the words of yet another ordinary-extraordinary person who couldn't be further away from the Roman jet set, the saint-nun, who claims she only eats 40 grams of roots a day, because 'roots are important'. I could go on and on, because I was totally mesmerized by this movie, not to mention its soundtrack. I derived absolute pleasure from watching the movie til the end of the credits. Hopefully you will be too.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By FA Vine on 28 Aug. 2014
Format: DVD
Intense, ironically beautiful and at times almost surreal, this is essentially a stunning and profound treatise, expounded with few words and a skeletal, almost non-existent plot, on the limitations of beauty and the elusiveness of happiness in the face of mortality, impermanence and, ultimately, death. Its cascade of startling imagery and quick-fire dialogue, when indeed there is dialogue at all, belies the slow pace of its unfolding theme and meaning; as such, it is perhaps a little over-long and is thus not a film for those of an impatient disposition or short attention span. It is, nonetheless, an amazing achievement, aesthetically, stylistically, technically and philosophically, leavened by laugh-out-loud moments prompted by its sparse but sharp script and an often sudden, powerful and surprising juxtaposition of images. Despite its flaws (and isn't all beauty, after all, ultimately flawed?), I strongly recommend this film to anyone with any kind of enduring interest in cinema and/or the deeper questions of our frail existence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul A. Mclean on 20 Jan. 2015
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I first saw The Great Beauty about six months as a rental from Love Film. At the time I thought it was an interesting film with a memorable soundtrack, but nothing out of the ordinary. However, I found myself weeks later having what I can only describe as "flashbacks" to images and pieces of music from the film. Based on these occurrences I revisited some of the reviews on Amazon and came away thinking that I had maybe missed something the first time round. So after much debating with myself I decided to buy the Blu Ray. What a revelation on the second viewing. I cannot say that everyone who watches this film will feel the same but it struck so many chords, not just with me, but I would imagine with many people. Professional critics are much more adept at describing the nuances and inner meanings of this film than I am. But at the end of the day it left a lasting impression on me, and at the end of the day I suppose that is what good cinema is supposed to do. A couple of other points, the soundtrack is both haunting and uplifting, so much so that I have bought that as well. As for the cinematography, well, if I was the Italian Tourist Board I would be hijacking some of the images of Rome to use in my advertising campaign, and of course the Blu Ray just makes it seem so much better.
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