Saw Paolo Sorrentino’s latest film “The Great Beauty” this afternoon at the Watershed.It’s set in Rome and revolves around an ageing arts journalist, socialite, bachelor, ”tireless gigolo” (as the Watershed blurb puts it!), Jep Gambardella (wonderfully played by Toni Servillo), amid Italian decadence and glamorous, “well-preserved” rich people – including a fair number of naked females (this retirement lark is tough)! Even through a haze of ridiculously over-the-top parties, Rome looks stunningly beautiful (sigh).
I’ve just read Peter Bradshaw’s review in the Guardian and he describes the city (at least as far as the film is concerned) as being “populated by the formerly beautiful and the currently damned” – which seems entirely fair in my eyes. It’s a long film (something like 160 minutes) which starts off feeling like an excuse for everyone having a good time (and is very funny at times), but develops into a film about love, loss, regret… and death.
Very well worth seeing… I sense I might need to view it again to capture a more complete understanding(!).
PS: the accompanying music is absolutely wonderful… especially the haunting, closing piece (which I’m trying to track down!).
PPS: you might like to watch this trailer to get a “feel”.