La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty)

great beautyWhy did I take so long to see this wonderful film, Paolo Sorrentino’s La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty)? Released from Criterion, this is a film that begs to be seen in Blu-ray on a large screen. From the opening of the film, I was mesmerized. The faces, the moments, the dancing, the questions, the beauty of life. Where else but Rome could you create a film about a 65 year-old society man wondering what’s it all about? Was his life worth it? Did he squander time or did he live each moment out loud? Toni Servillo steals the show as Jep, the suddenly 65 year-old with all of life’s questions in front of him. Not to be missed is the fantastic dance sequence during Jep’s birthday party. Rarely have I seen the bliss and abandon of dance so perfectly realized in a film. The expressions on the actors faces,  their sheer delight in life and that moment when the rhythm enters their bodies and they are one. Glorious filmmaking! Unfortunately The Great Beauty loses steam in the final hour. I didn’t understand the La Santa character. Everyone else made sense – Dadina, Ramona, Viola, Stefania, Lorena, Alfredo, Talia Concept, the Cardinale, Suora botox, the child public artist, The Clerk, and The Princesses. I just didn’t get La Santa. I suppose she was part of Jep’s spiritual search? By this point in the film, some editing would have made this a perfect film for me. The first part was over-the-top perfection, the last half hour dragged. Still what’s not to love about a man searching for answers in the midst of a bizarre and sumptuous life? 4 out of 5 for La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty)

I immediately jumped back to the birthday party dance sequence after the credits rolled and roared with laughter and glee a second time. Truly a celebratory scene!

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2 Responses to “La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty)”

  1. thejewels18 Says:

    Oh my yes…loved this film, loved Jep, loved watching day break in Roma, and yes, I was hooked at the Birthday Party. Saw it when it won its Oscar, must revisit. Remembering wanting to jump up and join the dance. Bellisima!

    Like

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