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The Great Beauty (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD)
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Top Customer Reviews
The "La Dolce Vita" like story of dissipated Roman creative posers and party animals confronting middle age, lost promise, failure and mortality, as though Marcello Mastroianni had never managed to transcend the final scenes of "La Dolce Vita", and had just grown old where we last saw him, allows for some wicked insights into and comments on Roman artistic life and an Italian film genre that is best summarized as "We are surrounded by so much beauty and greatness from the past, but we can only create empty beauty because we lack greatness, and can never achieve it again, and are tormented by the language and symbols of Catholicism, and are twisted into knots and self negation by intellectualizing about modernity. What else can we do but party? And, of course, we are melancholy at the emptiness of it all...".Read more ›
The main character, Jep Gambardella, looked all his life for the great beauty but didn't find it. We get to see it everywhere around him.
At 135 minutes it is a movie that will either envelop you with its stunning visuals (right up to the end of the closing credits in fact) and intelligent script or leave you thinking it is way too long and over indulgent. Many of Sorrentino's normal trademarks are here - the use of different dance and music to great dramatic effect; beautifully composed visuals, though his continual use of tracking and crane shots can get a tad tiresome; a wide cast of strong supporting actors that serves Servillo's immaculately attired but tired and acerbic persona well; and, the story of a man having lived the high life being woken up to face his demons - but what lifts this film to a higher level is its love affair with Rome.
The use of locations and few studio sets (with some amazing use of animals for key scenes) shows off the beauty of Rome and its architecture to great effect. Top that with a story centered around the Italian wealthy who live and party in Rome has led inevitably to comparisons with La Dolce Vita of Fellini and Antonioni films of that era. But with little reference to the recent politics of Berlusconi and modern Italy this is an exploration of the current vacuousness of living within Rome's elites both in the Arts and interestingly the Church, given the Vatican's presence within Rome.
The script is razor sharp throughout.Read more ›
"Roma has let me down" says one of his fellow friends. The journey into the night is filled with reminsicent metaphors that calls us back to La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2, Roma and even Last year in Mariembad. The main character is closer to GianCarlo Gianini than Marcello. He walks, talks and reflects about his passions, hobbies, missing romances and how the actual world has lost part of the charm of his youth years.
Of course, there are cynical observations about the banality of society (even the Roman church is not absent).
The photography is admirable and talks by itself. And brilliant sequences that illustrate the state of despair and agonic loneliness (Giraffe's missing, for instance).
A film that highlights above the average. Good cast and magnificent custome design.
I have a presentiment. I guess this picture will win the Golden Globe as Best Foreign Film.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An amazing journey about a retired author's reawakening and internal search for the definition and acumulation of 'The Great Beauty' while trying to search through the... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Rachel Christoff
Just a beautiful movie, without a single car chase, murder, rape, or other disaster.
It even had interesting dialog but then I'm getting to be that age.
The wonderful cinematography of The Great Beauty is worthy of its classical setting - and the film is more unified than it might seem after the first viewing. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Frank
It had beautiful photography. I did not feel it hung together, and while I liked Fellini in his day, this did not make it
in terms of characters I could either relate to or... Read more
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