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.
Elise and Didier fall in love at first sight, in spite of their differences. He talks, she listens. He's a romantic atheist, she's a religious realist. When their daughter becomes seriously ill, their love is put on trial.
Felix van Groeningen
Adele's life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adele grows, seeks herself, loses herself and ultimately finds herself through love and loss.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
An Iranian man deserts his French wife and her two children to return to his homeland. Meanwhile, his wife starts up a new relationship, a reality her husband confronts upon his wife's request for a divorce.
A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Thomas Bo Larsen,
Journalist Jep Gambardella has charmed and seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades. Since the legendary success of his one and only novel, he has been a permanent fixture in the city's literary and social circles, but when his sixty-fifth birthday coincides with a shock from the past, Jep finds himself unexpectedly taking stock of his life, turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries, and looking past the extravagant nightclubs, parties, and cafés to find Rome in all its glory: a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty. Written by
In an interview conducted by the Italian radio station Radio 2, Paolo Sorrentino claimed that, at some point during production, he was considering to call the film "L'Apparato Umano". "L'Apparato Umano" also is the title of the fictional novel written by the protagonist of the film, Jep Gambardella, played by Toni Servillo. See more »
This is how it always ends. With death. But first there was life, hidden beneath the blah, blah, blah... It's all settled beneath the chitter chatter and the noise, silence and sentiment, emotion and fear. The haggard, inconstant flashes of beauty. And then the wretched squalor and miserable humanity. All buried under the cover of the embarrassment of being in the world, blah, blah, blah... Beyond there is what lies beyond. And I don't deal with what lies beyond. Therefore... let this novel ...
See more »
This film is a modern masterpiece of Cinema. Luca Bigazzi's cinematography is beautiful, with elegant tracking shots of Rome that draw the viewer into the loveliness of Jep's world (even if age and experience seems to have robbed him of the ability to feel and see this great beauty himself).
The enchanting score of choral works by David Lang (I Lie), Vladimir Martynov (The Beatitudes), John Tavener (The Lamb) and Arvo Part (My Heart is in the Highlands) give depth to the wonderful images of Rome. This haunting soundtrack replaces the need for dialogue and adds intensity to Servillo's melancholic performance.
Servillo's acting is superb from his moments of dry humour to the heartbreaking intensity of those feelings he cannot quite hold on to.
La Grande Bellezza gives a window into Roman life that is probably only fully understood by a fellow Roman. However all can appreciate the aesthetic pleasure of Sorrentino's Rome and the bittersweet meanderings of its characters.
This is a cinema of the highest order, imbued with elegance & style. For the viewer it is like swimming in honey. Grazie Signore Sorrentino.
97 of 133 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?