I've been a cinema fan for most of my life, and am nearly as old as the protagonist of this film. I have begun to find it hard to find films that thrilled, challenged or moved me as much as those of years gone by. The last time I went to see a film three times in the cinema, was Blade Runner - a long time ago, and before the days of small-screen film viewing. Until a friend dragged me off to see The Great Beauty last year, that is. As others comment, it's a long picture, and the first half-hour is hard to love (even when you love it); but I was inexorably sucked in, nevertheless, and unable to get it out of my mind went back a few days later, and again a few days later, and then a fourth time as well. The DVD is welcome - viewing on a computer screen can't equal the big screen, but then what does?
This is quite simply the film of my life. I didn't think I would ever see one that was capable of affecting me as much. I don't even know why, except that basic film criticism suggests masterly creative skill in direction. The music is particularly well-chosen and edited. On the surface, there is a lot of archness and glitz, yet once you start to drill down into the detail, the compassion is overwhelming. And yes, it's so, so beautiful.
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