- Category: Going Out To
- Written by Ailsa Windsor
Winner of ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ at the 86th Academy Awards (2014) ‘Great Beauty (La Grande Belezza)’ - a tale of ambition, greed and delusion is currently showing at Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveau countrywide
Starring: Toni Servillo, Sabrina Ferilli, Carlo Verdone, Carlo Buccirosso, Iaia Forte, Serena Grandi, Massimo Popolizio
Italian with English sub-titles
La Grande Belezza’ is a cynical, tongue-in-cheek look at Italian high society focusing mainly on Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) who, on reaching his 65th birthday, realizes that his life is nothing but a sham. Having written a novel in his 20s, he has lived off the fame ever since. He came to Rome with the idea of inculcating himself into the societal hierarchy which moved from one party to the next; one meaningless luncheon to another; flowing booze; drugs; sex and more. At the time, however, they weren’t meaningless at all.
An encounter with a daughter of one of his friends makes him realise that he has to save her from herself, but little does he realise that she is terminally ill and wants no fixed commitments – she wants to live on a high till the bitter end.
Always immaculately dressed and magnificently portrayed by Toni, Jep reflects on his life, loves and compatriots in a non-condescending manner leaving the viewer with a giggle here and a quizzical thought every now and again.
‘La Grande Belezza’ has been created by filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino, who has been compared to another Italian grandmaster of film – Federico Fellini. Both view society as their canvas and make the most of the opportunity to paint intriguing tongue-in-cheek portraits.
Please note: There are some explicit scenes.. but for the art movie connoisseur ‘La Grande Belezza’ will leave you with plenty of food for thought.