La grande bellezza

La grande bellezza

The great beauty

Downloadable Video - 2013 | Italian
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In this Oscar-winning comedy, journalist Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo, Il divo and Gomorrah) charms and seduces his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome as a permanent fixture in the city's literary and social circles. However, when his sixty-fifth birthday coincides with a shock from the past, Jep finds himself unexpectedly taking stock of his life, turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries, and looking past the extravagant nightclubs, parties, and cafes to find Rome in all its glory: a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty.

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c
calvoer
May 25, 2019

Had to watch it twice; the second time around, things fell into place. A great film.

c
CurlyWhirly
Jun 14, 2018

Italy's official submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards, director Paolo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty tells the story of an aging Roman journalist who enjoys a life of hedonism and excess in the upper-echelons of the Italian capital's social circles, but whose 65th birthday prompts a sobering bout of self-reflection. When Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) came to Rome at the age of 26, he was quickly swept-up into the city's vibrant nightlife. Following the success of his first and only novel, rising journalist Gambardella became a literary icon. Years later, Gambardella enjoys a life of privilege and unbridled excess; he's the life of every party, and rarely a night goes by that he isn't holding court in one of the city's hottest clubs. Things couldn't get much better until, on the day he turns 65, Gambardella is reminded of a chapter from his past that gives him a striking new perspective on the magnificent city that he has come to call home. Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli, and Carlo Buccirosso co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Nursebob
Jun 14, 2018

Paolo Sorrentino’s glorious rumination on vanity and mortality revisits Fellini’s "Roma" using many of the old master’s flourishes yet adding a very human coda all its own. With his apartment poised between the Coliseum’s iconic grandeur on one side and a tranquil convent on the other, our troubled protagonist Jep is likewise torn between an earthly desire for esteem and a deepening spiritual need as he enters into his final years. With a gorgeous soundtrack that goes from whispered chorales and guitar ballads to crashing arias, Sorrentino’s camera lingers over drunken partygoers at an all-night rave and silent worshippers alike as each character slowly wends their way toward whatever light they’re drawn to---for beauty, like love and faith, is where you find it. “It all ends in death…” an older and wiser Jep assures us, “…but before that there is life.” And life is one thing Sorrentino’s grand opus has in spades. Breathtaking.

m
MB85CAL
Sep 06, 2017

Rome plays its part well not only as the cinematographic backdrop of the story but as a character in her own right. Very Roman, very Italian. Fellini would have enjoyed it . . . Sorrentino did very well.

b
biffblack
Oct 15, 2016

The pits. A rip-off of every Fellini movie ever made -- with none of the insight or wit. The Great Beauty has production values -- good cinematography and flashy editing -- to camouflage its boring, bankrupt script. The so-called characters onscreen are complete ciphers; the actors playing these roles are physically ugly beyond endurance. Who could ask for anything less? The leading man is an EYESORE -- he's uglier than the Satanic mortician from Phantasm and not nearly as fascinating.

t
tmlampinen
Apr 23, 2016

I continue to watch this film regularly and every viewing seems as fresh. The cinematography is nothing short of breathtaking, the musical selections sublime, and screenplay at once thoughtful, compassionate and ironic. My only regret (that will undoubtedly be short-lived) is not having a copy of my own.

l
lukasevansherman
Nov 15, 2014

"I was looking for the great beauty. I didn't find it."
Gorgeous, grand, and sensual Italian film that won best foreign film this year. Another called this Fellini lite, which is inaccurate, as Fellini was not exactly known for his depth and this film, despite the surface hedonism and decadence, has an undercurrent of melancholy, nostalgia, and loss, which gives it a heft and complexity. Toni Servillo gives a gloriously understated and charming performance as a veteran journalist, raconteur, and man about town. Director/writer Paolo Sorrentino, who also directed "Il Divo" and "This Must be the Place," is invoking Fellini, esp. "La Dolce Vita" and "Roma," but he's not merely imitating him. The protagonist does seem like a direct descendant of Marcello Mastroianni's journalist from "La Dolce Vita," but older and a little more bitter. Like that film, it's a bittersweet love letter to the spirituality and sensuality of Roman life. One of the best Italian films I've seen in years and one the calls for multiple viewings. Ignore the haters on this one.

hania4987 Sep 13, 2014

a few picturesque scenes and interesting lines do not make a great movie ... I have to agree with Jep ... "blah, blah, blah"

g
GuyN
Aug 23, 2014

The cinematography is wonderful and the camera moves through the Roman cityscape to some marvelous music. For this alone I give the 31/2 stars. Well, the lead actor does a magnificent job, but his character had one great novel and still can display caustic, creative wit, yet seems not to grow or care. We spend a lot of time seeing just how decadent the Roman glitterati and literati can be. Well, I guess that's traditional, but I found it boring. Maybe there was a lot I did not get in the film. Perhaps I didn't miss much.

h
HellbillyHillhound
Aug 05, 2014

Fantastic film!! I sank deep into this one right away. 2hrs. 22mins. but doesn't seem that long. Beautiful shots, nice scene transitions, fun characters... I felt Italian after I watched it. Jep made me feel excited about getting older.

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