The Great Beauty Image

Universal acclaim - based on 29 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 105 Ratings

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  • Summary: Jep Gambardella has seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades, but after his 65th birthday and a shock from the past, Jep looks past the nightclubs and parties to find a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    May 26, 2013
    A shimmering coup de cinema to make your heart burst, your mind swim and your soul roar.
  2. Reviewed by: Michael Atkinson
    Nov 12, 2013
    There's little sense in trying to resist the film's relentless boogie-woogie party vibe, its tumultuous visual banquet, its unpredictable sense of switchblade satire, its fools' parade of modern grotesques, or its river of startling melancholy, turning from a wary trickle to a flash flood by film's end. Sorrentino's vision is the size of Rome itself, and his confidence is dazzling.
  3. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Dec 5, 2013
    If you know Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita," you'll be unable to watch The Great Beauty without thinking about it. This gorgeous Italian movie, like its predecessor, balances pungent satire and a more melancholy mood in portraying the dissolute world of the upper crust in contemporary Rome.
  4. Reviewed by: Geoff Pevere
    Jan 31, 2014
    An utterly ravishing portrait of listless luxuriance, a fantasy of decadent wealth and beauty.
  5. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    Dec 13, 2013
    It’s a Fellini-esque carnival of humanity on display, a more debauched phantasmagoria reminiscent of “La Dolce Vita.” But “La Dolce Vita” created the paparazzi; The Great Beauty takes place in a world where the paparazzi have existed for decades.
  6. Reviewed by: Kevin Harley
    Oct 22, 2013
    Splashes of overstatement aside, the ambition intoxicates.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Nov 22, 2013
    The melancholy in this film is just as trumped up as the frenzy.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 25
  2. Negative: 5 out of 25
  1. Feb 19, 2014
    A gorgeous non-linear poem of a movie. Obviously an update of La Dolce Vita, showing how much further into decadence and shallowness the upper classes of Italy (and the globalized world?) have descended in the last fifty years or so. But also a film about the possibility of transcendence of the whole farce of the emptiness of the lives of the rich. The final tracking shot of the gorgeous Tiber River and its bridges, accompanied by profoundly beautiful, soulful music epitomizes the capacity of the human mind to move to a very different plane from that on which the film's hero wastes most, but not all, of his time on earth. Expand
  2. Jan 3, 2014
    Vivacious, sexual, vibrant, and enlightening. This is the best film I have seen in years. It is a mixture of Fellini, Antonioni, and Michel Gondry. A visual masterpiece and a directorial triumph. Even better than Inside Llewyn Davis this year. Expand
  3. Dec 21, 2013
    This is not a film of Fellini. perhaps only the Italians can understand it. is closer to a malick's film. nature is replaced by the beauty of the city and the great wakes up at dawn, in the light of the sun. and the beauty is not in the decadence of fashion but in the garden with the children in the trials of a choir, in memory of a love. the beauty that is also salvation is at hand for all. this is the message, but you have to know how to get out of the cynical bunch and take it. Expand
  4. Oct 13, 2014
    We are invited to accompany a writer throughout his journey across Rome in a world of fantasy and reality.
    Maybe we are exploring a writer's
    mind which is filled with a wide range of colors and characters. It is indeed an exhilarating experience we can hardly forget. Expand
  5. Dec 4, 2013
    THE GREAT BEAUTY is not as profound as it would like to be and at times it feels like a Fellini rehash, but ultimately director Sorrentino hits dead on the malaise and dissolution of the contemporary upper classes. The first 25 minutes are so perfect--beautiful, ugly, dull, and great fun--you wish the next 2 hours could hit these heights. That's a high mark and THE GREAT BEAUTY comes very close. Expand
  6. Feb 10, 2014
    This Italian nomination for Best Foreign Film follows a man who's just turned 65. He wrote one successful novel years ago and still spends his days moving in society's circles: dancing at wild parties, having useless conversations, viewing performance art and questioning it all. If you're familiar with Fellini you'll see his touches all over: sumptuous images of Roman life and locations, freaky characters and incongruous imagery all combined in glimpses, not in linear narrative. On the other hand, the film is missing the master's magic. If you're into art films, this might appeal. I found it beautiful to behold, but oh so tedious, labored and indulgent. (At Criterion Cinemas only.) Expand
  7. Mar 17, 2014
    I have only walked out on a movie twice. This was the second time. Pretentious, obnoxious, and boring. p.s., It had nothing to say.. Even Rome didn’t look as beautiful as it really is. Expand

See all 25 User Reviews

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