Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars Its certainly Sorrentino’s best film. A real treat for the summer months., 21 Jun. 2014
This review is from: The Great Beauty [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar-winning film ‘The Great Beauty’ reunites him with his regular collaborator Toni Servillo, in an ambitious film which tries to make sense of the eternal city of Rome in the 21st century.

Servlllo plays Jep Gambardella, a well-known journalist who also wrote a novel in his 20s. He’s also the man who knows absolutely everyone who is anyone in Rome, the king of socialites. Jep turns 65 with yet another brazenly lavish party in a city which seems to be living it up nightly. He spends his days and nights wandering the streets of a city he knows as intimately as he does its residents. Occasionally still working as a journalist, this cultivated gentleman is content enough to breeze past life without a care in the world.

For Jep, Rome has everything he needs, he has no need to go anywhere else. We journey through Jep’s decadent life of really doing nothing at all, meeting various friends who all seemingly have the same carefree attitude to life as he does. Sorrentino mocks everyone from the bronzed old-moneyed rich and powerful, to religious figures, artists and writers and even the mafia. Jep shows us Rome in all its decaying glory, whilst assessing his own trivial existence. The past intermingles with the present, reality with memories and dreams. Jep typifies the self-delusional attitude of many in this film, continuously seeking something that has meaning but cops out every time. Ageing has just made him more indifferent, resigning himself to yet more disappointment.

Sorrentino balances Rome’s often hollow ostentation with melancholia and a genuine love for the delights of this beautiful city, many of which are often hidden from the public. With such a sumptuous city for inspiration, its no surprise that this film looks absolutely dazzling. Thanks mainly to a fine performance from Servillo, its easy to get lost in ‘The Great Beauty’ which has a nostalgic charm which is both amusing and endearing, and its certainly Sorrentino’s best film. A real treat for the summer months.
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