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
This is a terrific film for people in their later years who love pondering the beauty, meaning and meaninglessness of life, death and everything in between.. Read morePublished 5 days ago by MAM
I have seen this film multiple times, and each time I find more to enjoy. It is a modern ode to Fellini, a love letter to the city of Rome and the life of the people who live... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Felicia ann Folino
It's not even an effective coaster :-(. I love this movie but had no clue I would be unable to play it because of region codes. USA is Region 1 and Europe is Region 2. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Catherine M. Albert
Tough to follow at first, but the film unfolds beautifully. Tough to relate to the upper echelon of Roman society for most of us, but ultimately the themes recognizable to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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