THE GREAT BEAUTY

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
MARCH 29, 2014

Having won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Feature, “The Great Beauty” or “La Grande Bellezza” was one of the only foreign film anyone was talking about this Oscar season. Setting the bar high for foreign film contenders, with amazing visuals and memorable performances, this French film is filled with breathtaking sequences and unforgettable imaginary, including a scene with a giraffe in a courtyard at night, a flashlight lit art gallery tour, and a screaming little girl fist painter, among a list of spectacular images that goes on and on. From director Paolo Sorrentino, who made his English debut recently with “This Must Be The Place” starring Sean Penn and starring Toni Servillo (“Il Divo”) as the lead character, Jep Gambardella, “The Great Beauty” follows Jep after his 65th birthday party, as he entertains his group of friends on several occasions, finds himself in a relationship with a much younger woman who makes a living as a stripper, and leaves his successful career as a writer to interview and produce columns. Jep reminisces of a lost love from when he was a young man, just as her husband informs Jep that she has passed and had always loved him. Servillo plays this role wonderfully, bringing vitality to the aged man and sophistication needed to present the lyrical delivery of many of his criticisms. Although often over my head, the film grabs hold enough to fill in the voids left by its dense material and does impress on every level.

RELEASE DATE
November 15, 2013

DIRECTOR
Paolo Sorrentino

WRITTEN BY
Paolo Sorrentino
Umberto Contarello

STUDIO
Medusa Film
Janus Films

NOT RATED

DRAMA
INTERNATIONAL

141 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Luca Bigazzi

COMPOSER
Lele Marchitelli

EDITOR
Cristiano Travaglioli

CAST
Toni Servillo
Carlo Verdone
Sabrina Ferilli
Carlo Buccirosso
Iaia Forte
Galatea Ranzi
Giorgio Pasotti

PRODUCED BY
Nicola Giuliano
Francesca Cima
Fabio Conversi

BUDGET
$10 million

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