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The Great Beauty(La grande bellezza)

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Italy, France · 2013
2h 22m
Director Paolo Sorrentino
Starring Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli, Carlo Buccirosso
Genre Drama

Jep has seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades, but after his 65th birthday and a shock from the past, he looks beyond the nightclubs and parties to find a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty.

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What are people saying?

Marjorie Testa Profile picture for Marjorie Testa

Rarely, I feel, does a film capture the dizzying highs and emotional devastations of being alive as succinctly as “La Grande Bellezza.” Not only does the film live up to its name by being visually stunning — every bit of it is shot with such intelligence and style that I was reminded of a number of Fellini’s most beautiful works — but I frequently found myself bowled over by its metaphors and emotional weight. Even the most seemingly inconsequential of moments are made incandescent thanks to Sorrentino’s determination to infuse every minute with the full spectrum of feelings that come with being alive. Joy, grief, agony, delight, and bittersweet reverence hold hands and dance through Jeb’s longing stares out at Rome’s canals, or through the glittering party scenes, or across the late-night conversations that Jeb has with his friends.

What are critics saying?


Empire by

Sumptuous and self-indulgent, Sorrentino's latest is a Fellini-like feast for the eyes.


Slant Magazine by Chuck Bowen

Paolo Sorrentino's film is really just a huge turn-on that has the bad manners to go sour, succumbing to its own self-delusions of moral/political grandeur.


The Hollywood Reporter by Deborah Young

Though Sorrentino’s vision of moral chaos and disorder, spiritual and emotional emptiness at this moment in time is even darker than Fellini’s...he describes it all in a pleasingly creative way that pulls audiences in through humor and excess.


Variety by Jay Weissberg

Sorrentino continues to tackle major topics using an extraordinary combination of broad brushstrokes and minute detail. Passion via the intellect has become his trademark, well suited to this dissection of empty diversions, indulged in by latter-day Neros fiddling while Rome burns.

77 by Jordan Hoffman

Gambardella’s world-weary look back at his sweet life, eclipsed by his turning sixty-five, is a dizzying fantasia of flash and filigree, and what it lacks in direct narrative is well patched-over with frenetic and emotion-rich sequences. This movie is a sight and sound workout.


The Playlist by Kevin Jagernauth

La Grande Bellezza washes over you in series of scenes, visages, sensations and impressions, and although in this case it doesn't quite gel into a cohesive whole, it's nonetheless a journey worth taking; a travelogue through memory and dreams, in which life is greatest fiction we could ever create.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

This movie looks and feels superb, it is pure couture cinema. But there is also a excess of richness and bombast and for all its sleekness I felt that the spark of emotion was being hidden, and there is a kind of frustration in the operatic sadness.

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