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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning and profound treatise on beauty, mortality, impermanence and death
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...
Published 24 days ago by FA Vine

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful photography but dull as ditchwater
Beautiful photography but dull as ditchwater. Gave it to some Italians (aged 60) who reported it to be the film to end their lives by. Shame, had hoped for something accessible, rather than something pretentious.
Published 2 months ago by S. Allen


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning and profound treatise on beauty, mortality, impermanence and death, 28 Aug 2014
By 
FA Vine (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Great Beauty (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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84 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oscar material, 17 Sep 2013
This review is from: The Great Beauty [DVD] (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost a meditation., 7 July 2014
By 
Lola (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Great Beauty [DVD] (DVD)
I started to watch "The Great Beauty" ("Le Grande Bellezza"!) waiting for a thoughtful drama about life, but quickly realised this film is not really that, it's a celebration of life and beauty and youth and companionship. And yes, even though the beauty of it all makes you forget for a minute this, it turns out it is still a thoughtful meditation about life, beautifully told. Told through the eyes of journalist Jep Gambardella (the alluring Toni Servillo, never was I so attracted to the, allegedly, 65 year old).

Jep charmed his way through the extravagant nightlife and artlife of Rome for half a century. Since the much talked about triumph of his one and only novel, he has been a permanent resident in the Eternal City's art circles. Events surrounding his birthday make Jep start to evaluate his life, turning his fabled humour on himself and his comrades, and looking for Rome in all its magnificence, exchanging the extravagant nightclubs for a stroll through [almost] abandoned houses of Italian aristocracy.

I doubt I will be re-watching this film, but I will cherish the memory of it.
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly stunning, 28 Oct 2013
This review is from: The Great Beauty [DVD] (DVD)
Words - so little to describe so much. I don't mean to sound pretentious or even coy, just gobsmacked at the beauty and variety and depth and shallowness and joy and I loved it. I walked home and the stars seemed brighter and I felt glad to be here on this planet.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sumptuous, dazzling, witty and perverse, 28 Oct 2013
By 
Thomas Beale (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Great Beauty [DVD] (DVD)
A poignant meditation on life undertaken via a voyeuristic tour through Rome, and the lives of some of its most stylish denizens, arguably also the most spiritually lost. The photography is simply beautiful. Although there is no real story, the thread of reflection of the main character provides the logic of the film. Some of the dialogues are laugh out loud hilarious, other situations leave a taste of emptiness and regret. The real subject is the problem of purpose. Of course there are no answers, but it's hard to imagine a more wonderful way to contemplate the question.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life as Art, 16 Sep 2013
By 
Antenna (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Great Beauty [DVD] (DVD)
The "Great Beauty" is the Rome that tourists too often miss, with sunlight playing on fountains and ancient intricate carvings, the haunting voices of choirs floating from balconies, children playing tag with white-robed nuns in lush green gardens glimpsed through stone archways.

Wealthy writer Jep Gambardella knows Rome well, but his appreciation of its beauty is heightened when, in the middle of his extravagant 65th birthday party he is struck by the decadence and vacuity of his life. Later, in post-dinner balcony drinks, the shallowness and empty pretentiousness of so-called close friends becomes almost intolerable. The death of a long-lost girl friend who apparently always loved him from a distance may also remind him of what might have been.

Made sharply aware that time is running out on his dilettante life, Jep does not do much about it, apart from take up with an ageing stripper with a heart, mocked by his snobbish friends for her name Ramona and choice of a see-through dress on her first outing with him. Great beauty seems inseparable from moments of soft porn. Apart from making a visually stunning film, full of people with striking features, often reduced to "living works of art" in their designer costumes, I am unsure what the director Sorrentino is trying to achieve. I would have liked more of a plot, and although I do not mind a film that is largely about visual design combined with music and a few witty comments, at nearly two-and-a-half hours, this is not quite enough to sustain one's interest, plus the frenetic partying became oppressive. Watching all this began to seem perhaps more questionable than the privileged self-delusion and emptiness of the existences lived out in the film.

I felt I could not win with this film which is overlong and rambling yet leaves embedded in the mind the same powerful visual images you would get from visiting a gallery of remarkable artworks. Walking out mid-way would leave a sense of having missed out on memorable scenes. Sitting it out may seem like a waste of time: one "gets the message" in the first half, and then there is nowhere else to go. I was a little disappointed that Sorrentino focuses on the idle rich, and does not show us the beauty of ordinary lives, despite their pain and disappointment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful film - shame about the lack of extras, 29 Aug 2014
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The film itself is one of the great films of the 21st century: humane and subtle. I believe it will come to seen as a classic on a par with the best of Italian cinema. Nowadays, I rarely buy discs of film I have seen in the cinema but this is such a gem, I just had to have it.

While the bluray disc conveys as much of the spectacle of the film as one can expect on a TV, the only additional material is the trailer and a set of clips of the film being made. When films were first put on disc the customer was given many extras such as multiple commentaries, script and deleted scenes but this practice seems largely to have ceased. That is a shame - and the major reason I stopped buying discs!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful photography but dull as ditchwater, 11 July 2014
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This review is from: The Great Beauty [DVD] (DVD)
Beautiful photography but dull as ditchwater. Gave it to some Italians (aged 60) who reported it to be the film to end their lives by. Shame, had hoped for something accessible, rather than something pretentious.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Visually sumptuous but not enough story, 21 July 2014
This review is from: The Great Beauty (Blu-ray)
Visually sumptuous but not enough narrative for me. Maybe I just didn't get it but have to confess I didn't finish watching the whole film which is very unusual for me.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 8 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Great Beauty [DVD] (DVD)
Considering the rave reviews I expected much more from this film. I felt the director was trying to be the new Fellini but couldn't quite pull it off. All the way through I kept thinking about Satyricon and all the other films which it resembled. It felt empty and unconvincing.
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The Great Beauty [DVD]
The Great Beauty [DVD] by Paolo Sorrentino (DVD - 2014)
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