7.8 (75073 votes)
With echoes of Fellini’s The Sweet Life (La Dolce Vita, 1960), the film The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza), shown at this year’s Cannes film festival, evokes cinematic admiration and makes one wish it would never end, while leading film critics tend to refer to it as the most momentous film of the festival.
Jep Gambardella (actor Toni Servillo) is an indolent and disenchanted 65-year-old writer and journalist, coasting on his sole successful novel published nearly fifty years ago. A grey-haired man of property, an intellectual and a lion of eccentric high society gatherings, he is the Rome’s king of the socialites, expert in courting in a gentlemanly manner and laudably extending condolences at funerals. Sounds cynic? It probably does. Yet, deep in the heart, Jep is a romantic idealist and dreamer, engulfed in the swirl of the great beauty filled with vacuity and vanity.
His penthouse suite overlooking the Coliseum is a regular place of gatherings for the bohemia and Rome’s elite. Jep finds himself to be an observer of a parade of the prominent and vacuous elite raging in never-ending parties and modern art performances he is a part of. Surrounded by a perpetual flurry, the man ponders why he did not write a second novel for several decades and tries to solve the agonising dilemma of his personal life.
Glorifying the beauty of the eternal city, the heady film is full of Fellini-esque grotesque, critique of high society vacuity, and almost caricatured party shots mixed with intellectual discussions. This certainly the most beautiful film opens in cinema theatres in Latvia already from 15 November.
Cast: Toni Servillo, Carlo Verden, Sabrina Ferilli, Carlo Buccirosso, Iaia Forte, Pamela Villoresi, Galatea Ranzi
Directed by Paolo Sorrentino
Italian language with latvian and russian subtitles.