Writer/Journalist Jep Gambardella has entranced and seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome's elite socialites for the past few decades. His one and only novel has made him a fixture in the community but on his 65th birthday he is forced to confront something from his past which brings him to reevaluate his life. Paolo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty is a visually stunning work that is equal parts intimate portrait of self-reflection and grand exploration of Italian culture, particularly Rome. The film's stunning cinematography is the first thing that jumps out at the viewer, with breathtaking visuals that capture the essence of Rome while simultaneously expressing the emotions of its characters. The comparisons to Fellini's La Dolce Vita are certainly apt, with Sorrentino delivering a somewhat surreal ode to Rome's splendor, absurdity, and exquisite beauty. This is a film with many topics of discussion throughout its 140 minute running time including old vs. new, intellectual vs. superficial, etc. What is most impressive is how Sorrentino does not look at any of these as conflicting, never picking sides but instead exposing the absurdities of all types of groups and individuals. Probably the closest thing to visual poetry this side of a Malick film, The Great Beauty is a grandiose examination of humanity which captures how small all of us individuals truly are in the grand scheme of humanity. Paolo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty is a exquisite study of our own mortality, capturing all the absurdities, viewpoints, and emotions that make life so beautiful
Love of all things cinema brought me here.