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The great beauty

(DVD - 2014 - Italian)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The great beauty
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For decades, journalist Jep Gambardella has charmed and seduced his way through the glittering nightlife of Rome. Since the legendary success of his only novel, he has been a permanent fixture in the city's literary and elite social circles. But on his sixty-fifth birthday, Jep unexpectedly finds himself taking stock of his life, turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries.

Series that include this title

Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] :, [Publisher not identified],, [2014]
Edition: Two-DVD special edition
ISBN: 9781604658361
1604658363
Branch Call Number: DVD Foreign GREAT
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (142 min.) :,sound, color ;,4 3/4 in

Opinion

From Library Staff

An intensely gorgeous movie about an older man who pauses in his hedonistic pursuit of pleasure to notice the beauty of life.

For decades, journalist Jep Gambardella has charmed and seduced his way through the glittering nightlife of Rome. Since the legendary success of his only novel, he has been a permanent fixture in the city's literary and elite social circles. But on his sixty-fifth birthday, Jep unexpectedly finds... Read More »


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Dec 05, 2014
  • Nursebob rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

On the eve of his 65th birthday, journalist and failed author Jep Gambardella feels the weight of his years more acutely than ever before. The pointless intellectual sparring and sexual dalliances of his past can no longer fill the existential void he feels growing within himself. His once exuberant insights now turned to smug cynicism, he rails against the artifice and petty hypocrisies of Italy’s intelligentsia (including himself) while Rome becomes little more that a wearisome distraction. But beneath the hedonistic parties and vain pursuits of lost youth moments of grace and calm are still to be found—cloistered nuns smile enigmatically within their garden walls, Jep’s diminutive editor, born a dwarf, revels in her lifelong ability to see the world from a child’s height, and everywhere the Eternal City offers up visions of ethereal beauty as ancient statuary seems to beckon from alleyways and hidden galleries. But it takes the sudden death of a childhood sweetheart and the arrival of a “living saint” to shock Jep into reexamining the path his life has taken. 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, 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; one woman spends all her money on “medical procedures”, a widower mourns over a love that was never his, and a frustrated poet realizes he has to leave the City before he loses his soul. In one piercing juxtaposition we see a wizened nun painfully ascending a flight of stairs on her hands and knees as she slowly makes her way toward a vision of Christ while in another time and place we see a very different set of stairs on which an exhilarated young man gazes longingly at the object of his desire, her breasts faintly illuminated by the rays of a distant lighthouse—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.

Nov 15, 2014
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"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.

Nov 15, 2014
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

"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.

Among the greatest films I've seen! And certainly among the most beautifully photographed.

Oct 25, 2014
  • Chapel_Hill_TimL rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Stunningly beautiful, thoughtful film, full of honest reflections on the human condition. The only movie I've gone back to watch a second time in a theater. The soundtrack itself is a work of art, with several pieces of strange beauty by composers I hadn't heard of.

Oct 19, 2014
  • ms_mustard rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

display and despair. moments of spirituality and loss. Fellini-esque, indeed. beautiful cinematography, including the credits.

Oct 11, 2014
  • empbee rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Fellini 50 years later. Very good movie with interesting characters. Not much changed since Dolce Vita, maybe the drugs.

Oct 07, 2014
  • 8217549 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

very beautiful movie

Oct 07, 2014
  • downsman rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of those movies that watching is more of an immersive experience than a dramatic excursion. Sumptuous, but not something to take on if you are seeking a compelling plot.

Sep 27, 2014
  • RNMartinez rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Fellini low calorie

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May 09, 2014
  • Ron@Ottawa rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: Some frontal nudity here and there, and some foul languages. Not suitable for children.

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app16 Version Hasselnot Last updated 2014/12/18 17:24