Rent The Great Beauty (2013)

3.2 of 5 from 427 ratings
2h 15min
Rent The Great Beauty (aka La Grande Bellezza) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
Jep Gambardella, a 65-year-old journalist and once promising novelist, lives his easy life among Rome's decadent high society in a swirl of rooftop parties and late-night soirees. But when he learns of the death of his friend's wife - a woman he once loved as an 18-year-old - his life is thrown into perspective and he begins to see the world through new eyes...
Actors:
, , , , , , , , , , , Anna Della Rosa, , , , , , , ,
Directors:
Producers:
Francesca Cima, Nicola Giuliano
Voiced By:
Christine Aubry
Writers:
Paolo Sorrentino
Aka:
La Grande Bellezza
Studio:
Artificial Eye Film Company Ltd.
Genres:
Comedy, Drama
Countries:
Italy, Top 100 Films, Comedy, Drama
Awards:

2014 BAFTA Best Foreign Film

2014 Oscar Best Foreign Film

BBFC:
Release Date:
13/01/2014
Run Time:
135 minutes
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
Languages:
Italian
Subtitles:
English
Bonus:
  • 'Backstage' Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailer
BBFC:
Release Date:
13/01/2014
Run Time:
139 minutes
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
Languages:
Italian
Subtitles:
English
Bonus:
  • 'Backstage' Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailer

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Reviews (11) of The Great Beauty

Overlong, self-indulgent, pretty but pointless Italian/French film - The Great Beauty review by PV

Spoiler Alert

2.5 stars for this.

This movie is way overlong and also self-indulgent - that makes it really boring in places. It takes ages to get going - the plot point being in the 35th minute. Why? Because we have stupid dancing scenes for ages before that.

To be fair, there is no plot really. It just washes over you - but no amount of arty cinematography can eliminate the boredom felt by many a viewer at the self-indulgent waffle here (and it's co-produced by a French company, so know what to expect - long gazes, confusing flashback editing).

I also feel the director's back catalogue and reputation has created a case of the Emperor's New Clothes amongst some adoring reviewers.

Some great characters though, esp the dwarf. Plus some genuinely laugh-out-loud lines. But a film has to be more than that. If I or you had written this script and sent it to the BBC or other production companies, it wouldn't have got a full read - 5 pages in, it would be on the REJECT pile.

For me, the final act - the last 25 minutes or so - was the best. Though the 104 year old nun character seems dropped in as a means to finish an amorphous and nebulous mess of a movie.

1 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

Pretentious Twaddle - The Great Beauty review by LP

Spoiler Alert

I was expecting good things from this film but how wrong I was. This is a a big steaming pile of pretentious twaddle. If you wanted to stop anyone from watching world cinema then just show them this. How it won an Oscar is beyond me.

2 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

We gave up on this one! - The Great Beauty review by BM

Spoiler Alert

Sometimes films which are described boring or incomprehensible in reviews end up being the films we enjoy, but not this one. We lasted 50 minutes,,,,,

There are better easy of spending 2 1/2 hours!!

2 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

The Great Beauty (aka La Grande Bellezza) review by George Hooper - Cinema Paradiso

Before I watched The Great Beauty I had already been told it would be a love it or hate it film and while I didn’t love it, I can’t say I hated it either. Sure the film is unbearably long at 140 minutes and there are scenes that contain nothing but ridiculous dancing but it’s also incredibly profound, shot in a new and interesting way and filled with enough philosophical thought to last a lifetime.

When Jep (Toni Servillo) learns of a past loves untimely death he enters a mode of reflection as he looks back on his life while learning to appreciate the things he has in the present that ground him. While he struggles with his grief he also helps others find their path as he tries to find something to write about as part of his long gestating second book, one he is adamant he doesn’t want to write.

As Jep strolls the city, takes in the sights and sounds and the beauty of the place we start to understand how little he really knows about real beauty, something he has unwittedly been looking for all his life. He lectures people about what they should be experiencing but he doesn’t understand it really. Servillo portrays this perfectly as Jep’s barriers begin to collapse around him and his rules begin to be nothing more than guidelines.

The fluid direction as shots flow into one another proves not only unusual but relevatory as every sequence is given a more effervescent and lively atmosphere with a hint of mystery thrown in for good measure. The film doesn’t pretend to understand The Great Beauty it is trying to show but it gets that we all see it in a different way so director Paulo Sorrentino ensures we never see any unnecessary shots.

That being said the film is full of moments that contain subtle elements but never really add to the big picture, you can enjoy them on their own but can’t appreciate the full package. Jep seems to have that problem as well which either makes this picture surprisingly ironic or powerfully expressive.

Unlike any film you will see this year, The Great Beauty is quintessentially Italian as it uses art, life and love to reaffirm and depress us at the same time

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