A darling of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Paolo Sorrentino (This Must Be The Place, Il Divo) has accomplished a five star homage to Rome – the Eternal City – and a sweeping, evocative tale in the style of Rossellini and Fellini.
The Great Beauty plunges into the world of the charismatic 65-year-old Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo), a famous journalist and single man-about-town, whose early promise as a novelist was never fulfilled. Jep is content enough with his life, made up of wild Euro-trash parties, fancy soirées and encounters with the amusing and often absurd characters that inhabit his largely after-dark existence. Jep finds meaning in every part of his beloved city. When the husband of Jep’s first lover reveals that his recently deceased wife was in fact always truly in love with Jep, a revitalised outlook on life and the city he loves is awakened. The exhausted pleasures and excesses of his life take on a freshness, particularly with his blossoming lust with Ramona (Sabrina Ferilli), a 41 year old exotic dancer.
From the grandeur of Rome’s most famous palaces, aqueducts and fountains to a secret garden locked away by key, The Great Beauty is a carnival for the senses and a cinematic feast - at once delightful, nostalgic, and inspiring.