The Great Beauty

The Great Beauty Image
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 134 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.

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: Daniel Green
    Jan 5, 2016
    100
    Drunk on the visual majesty of Rome, just as Fellini once was, this is arthouse cinema at its most effortlessly entrancing, with life and art blending into one magnificent whole.
  2. Reviewed by: Michael Atkinson
    Nov 12, 2013
    100
    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: Steve Persall
    Jan 30, 2014
    91
    The pointlessness of Jep's journey is Sorrentino's point, richly made.
  4. 88
    An utterly ravishing portrait of listless luxuriance, a fantasy of decadent wealth and beauty.
  5. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    Dec 13, 2013
    80
    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: Deborah Young
    May 26, 2013
    80
    Though Sorrentino’s vision of moral chaos and disorder, spiritual and emotional emptiness at this moment in time is even darker than Fellini’s...he describes it all in a pleasingly creative way that pulls audiences in through humor and excess.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Nov 22, 2013
    42
    The melancholy in this film is just as trumped up as the frenzy.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 28
  2. Negative: 5 out of 28
  1. Aug 12, 2015
    10
    the best film ive ever seen its the type of film that stick in your mind maybe forever ;every shot IS STUNNING/music is from anotherthe best film ive ever seen its the type of film that stick in your mind maybe forever ;every shot IS STUNNING/music is from another world/ and what let this film be a masterpiece or a work of art is how affected your soul and your mind with all this beauty and philosiphical topics all that and more from the acting to the cinematography 10/10 i feel empty after finished this piece of art that weirdly entertaining maybe the best experience ive ever had Expand
  2. Jan 3, 2014
    10
    Vivacious, sexual, vibrant, and enlightening. This is the best film I have seen in years. It is a mixture of Fellini, Antonioni, and MichelVivacious, 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
    10
    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 ofThis 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 beauty.beauty 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. Jan 16, 2014
    9
    Comparison with La dolce vita is obvious and rightfully so. Yet the decadence of the 60's elite was far more elegant, in a way, than our ownComparison with La dolce vita is obvious and rightfully so. Yet the decadence of the 60's elite was far more elegant, in a way, than our own age's, and this is shown throughout through an old man with radically cynical thoughts who's forcing himself to appear, to be in the spotlight. And among child prodigy painters, madmen, centenarian nuns, dreaming strippers and faux Communists it all unravels in the end when it is clearly shown that what truly matters is lost forever, and we had the chance to seize it, and maybe we did, but we wish we'd done it better. But the beauty of it resides right in the mystery of "what would have happened if" and the bittersweetness of never being able to find out. Expand
  5. Feb 17, 2014
    8
    After his tepid foray into America (THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, 2011), Paolo Sorrentino returns to Rome, confects his latest film, LA GRANDEAfter his tepid foray into America (THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, 2011), Paolo Sorrentino returns to Rome, confects his latest film, LA GRANDE BELLEZZA, a rambling fresco about the menagerie of events around Jep Gambardella (Servillo), a one-time writer and a successful journalist. Jep is an urbane hipster habituates in nightlife, a spouseless socialite, both an adroit party thrower and avid participant, but what has changed since his 65-year-old birthday? He begins to meditate on the existential meaning of his life, through his eyes, we are invited to probe the unseen vista of the middle-class’ decadence in the urban Roman society, it is a ritual, sentimental prose, plus an ode to the foregone glory.

    As a man with certain social status, Jep descends into nostalgic about the past, especially when he learns the death of his first lover, he recollects his memory of her, and meets a middle-aged stripper Ramona (Ferilli), who is an unwonted idealist with an enigmatic secret (not her intimacy with Botox obviously). They form a platonic relationship, romanticizes the ideal of love instead of making love. There are other facet of Jep’s life which concerns his friends, his pygmy boss Dadina (Vignola), an affluent widow Viola (Villoresi) with her radical son Andrea (Marinelli), the condescending Stefania (Ranzi), the lascivious Lello Cava (Buccirosso) with his wife Trumeau (Forte) and Romano (Verdone), an ill-fated writer. They all have their episodic presence in Jep’s life, their stories are more or less expanded but never elaborated.

    The portmanteau structure meanders over 2 hours, like a night cruise, sometimes we admire, sometimes we laugh, sometimes we indulge, not that the narrative matters, as if Sorrentino has a non-stop palliative generator to peddle viewers its pills to be enchanted with petrifying exquisiteness (from the body-swirling parties, then a giraffe disappears in a jiffy to the magical flamingos summoned by the wizened Saint), idiosyncratic modern art (Talia Concept, a kid’s performance art and Ron Sweet’s self-portrait exhibition, or maybe the Botox clinic, looks like a wacky play), and not to mention the groovy shindigs, all arrayed in painterly compositions, but Jep is not among all of this, he is an onlooker, a parvenu with patronizing stance to reflect the recognition we are hankering for, sophisticated, superior yet still hasn’t found what he is looking for. Servillo (only 55 but always passes for older men) exemplifies the role without detectable effort, his creased physiognomy is telling enough to indicate what’s in his vulpine mind.

    It is easy to find allusions to the vintage national auteurs like Fellini, Visconti with Sorrentino’s darkly flamboyant touch, but the film seems to no more a panegyric to the ancient capital than a contemplative eulogy which fixates on the internal struggle of aging, not only our lives are ephemeral, so is the aggregate city itself, and this is what beckons the core of the Academy voters, I can safely put my ante on a BEST FOREIGN PICTURE win in the upcoming Oscar ceremony, a majestic 15-year comeback to the kudos after LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL (1998, 8/10).
    Expand
  6. Dec 21, 2013
    6
    There is plenty of beauty in this movie, no doubt. I think the director of this movie was trying to make a Fellini-like film, in which he (toThere is plenty of beauty in this movie, no doubt. I think the director of this movie was trying to make a Fellini-like film, in which he (to some extent) succeeded. The cinematography is brilliant there, but in my opinion, a good movie needs not only a form, no matter how outstanding it is, but some substance as well. And there is none of it, just a stream of consciousness, which is quite popular among professional critics. But I am not a critic, I am just a guy who likes good movies, and this is not one of them. Expand
  7. Mar 17, 2014
    0
    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.. EvenI 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 28 User Reviews

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