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The Great Beauty (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD) (2013)

 Unrated |  Blu-ray
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: March 25, 2014
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00HE010QM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,001 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

For decades, journalist Jep Gambardella has charmed and seduced his way through the glittering nightlife of Rome. Since the legendary success of his only novel, he has been a permanent fixture in the city s literary and elite social circles. But on his sixty-fifth birthday, Jep unexpectedly finds himself taking stock of his life, turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries, and looking past the lavish nightclubs, parties, and cafes to find Rome itself, in all its monumental glory: a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty. Featuring sensuous cinematography, a lush score, and an award-winning central performance by the great Toni Servillo (GOMORRAH), this transporting experience by the brilliant Italian director Paolo Sorrentino (IL DIVO) is a breathtaking Fellini-esque tale of decadence and lost love.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
123 of 132 people found the following review helpful
"The Great Beauty" (Italian: La Grande Bellezza), directed by Paolo Sorrentino, is a lovely film, simultaneously self aware and unashamed in channeling several of the themes, stylistic flourishes and concerns previously identified with classic Italian films like "La Dolce Vita", "8 1/2", "L'Avventura" and so forth. It makes superb use of Rome in all its classical beauty as a location for mournful contemplations on lost youth, present life, pending mortality and the tribal malaise and pretenses of Rome's creative elite, all presented with lots of style and sizzle. How much a viewer finds the film to ultimately be either haunting and depressing or stimulating and entertaining may depend on how close to home the life concerns and reflections of the protagonist are to the viewer's own life.

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...".
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Great Italian Films January 17, 2014
By Pfritz
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I'm thrilled to see that Criterion Collection is releasing this film on disc so soon. I've seen it twice in the theater and it's one of the very best films I've ever seen. Not to be missed for anyone who appreciates Italian films, especially those by Fellini & Antonioni. Yes it contains many moments that reference La Dolce Vita, but as great as that film is, this one owes it no debt, it transcends La Dolce in many ways. On my first viewing I was swept away from start to finish. On second viewing the fragility of life and the poignancy of loss came to the fore. Amazing images and a great musical score.

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.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
This is the most nostalgic Italian film since the times of Giuseppe Tornatore's Baaria. Gepp is writer who is living his autumnal ages, and so he explores with farewelll taste all those places, faces , friends, girls that accompanied him sometime but that actually are gone or like him have grown old.

"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.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reply To The Egregious Miss Sarah and Miss Silvia March 25, 2014
By Modern
I saw this film in the theater and consider it one of the two or three rewarding and truly great films of 2013, not one of the said films being your Hollywood scam-films BTW. I very much look forward to seeing it again on Blu-ray. So I take it personally and feel compelled to respond to ignorant "reviewers" who see fit to criticize it without knowing what they are talking about at all. "Miss Sarah" and "Miss Silvia", two of the virago-"reviewers" on this panel: You are obviously a lot smarter and have far better taste than I and the thousands of Academy Award voters who chose this wonderful film as Best Foreign Film of the year 2013. Together with "Twelve Years A Slave" - another NOT-A-HOLLYWOOD scam-film, but nevertheless won its highest award; such an irony indeed - it will be among a pitiful handful from 2013 that will endure.

What demoralizes me about Amazon "reviewers", in general and the two Misses in particular, is first, their stupidity. They openly and self-confidently confess to "not getting it" or "not liking it". Has it ever occurred to these "reviewers" that "not getting it" and "not liking it" are admissions of defeat, especially with regard to a film that is unmistakably serious, demanding, and complex, and therefore reflect BADLY on them? No, they wear their stupidity like a badge of honor. Second, their circular, self-serving smugness about their stupidity: "Because I did not get or like this film, it must therefore be 100% truly awful" rather than it's because of me and my deficiencies as a human being and as a "reviewer".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars The talking was so fast and the subtitles as well ...
The talking was so fast and the subtitles as well to keep up with that rapid talking that we gave up on watching this movie 1/2 way through. Nothing important ever happened either.
Published 8 hours ago by Renee R. Sperling
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Beauty is a metaphor and an illusion
The Great Beauty is a metaphor and an illusion, because life itself is a metaphor and an illusion. Jep's first book, The Human Apparatus, written when he was just 25 years old was... Read more
Published 3 days ago by eclectisrhs
5.0 out of 5 stars But the film itself is excellent.
Wrong format. Can't play it on my player. But the film itself is excellent.
Published 5 days ago by M. evans
4.0 out of 5 stars Visually special, great sound, and a universal story
I guess most of my friends and american viewers will not get into this movie because of the lack of action. Read more
Published 8 days ago by BillN
5.0 out of 5 stars Fellini for the 21st Century
Gorgeous visually and musically. Fine centerpiece in Italian Pat Riley lookalike effortlessly wearing a closetful of beautiful clothes. Read more
Published 8 days ago by dickcroy
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic film. If you're willing to commit to it
A fantastic film. If you're willing to commit to it, the story is excellent though at times requires your complete attention to keep up. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Brian Barker
5.0 out of 5 stars A great beauty of a film
Subtle and powerful work; well-deserving of its Academy Award.
Rome becomes a metaphor of one man's life as he studies his own past.
Published 10 days ago by A. R. Escher Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful. Simply beautiful.
Wow. Beautiful cinematography, a film that stays with you long after you watch it.

Yes it is slow, yes the party scenes are empty and conversations are often dull- but... Read more
Published 11 days ago by Oleg
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, moving, phallocentric
Beautiful, moving, phallocentric
A lot of stark, well shot scenes. A male critic gets to skewer a female author for all of her faults. He gets to mock a female artist. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Kenneth I. Mayer
5.0 out of 5 stars "La Dolce Vita" Beautifully Revisited
Indeed a great film in the tradition of "La Dolce Vita" and Fellini's other genre! A tongue in cheek(s) look at Rome and the entire world of the self-infatuated haut bourgeoisie.
Published 12 days ago by NotaMacGenius
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