Sorrentino’s follow-up to This Must Be The Place is an alternately elegiac and world-weary cinematic fresco of contemporary Rome. The opening 15 minutes, as the camera glides, pans and swoops through the half imagined city are breathtaking and worth the admission fee alone. The simple narrative follows Jep (Servillo) a lothario, entering his autumn years, and his existential crisis following news of the death of an old flame. But this is far from a gloomy meditation on death. Part character study, part tonal poem The Great Beauty may ultimately be spoken of in the same breath as Rome, Open City, La Notte and La Dolce Vita.
Italy/France 2013 142m