Sunday, January 12 2014, 03:31 PM MST
Movie Review: The Great Beauty
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Starring: Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli
Rated: NRGenre: Comedy, Drama
Recommended To: Those looking for an exotic film filled with lavish parties, a bit of debauchery and a whole lot of soul searching.
Synopsis: Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) is a famous journalist who has been the king of Romes nightlife for decades. On his sixty-fifth birthday he finds himself reflecting upon his life and the love that could have been.
Review: Jep Gambardella is Jay Gatsby resurrected as an Italian journalist. He's the reason the party exists, but hes rarely the center of attention. He can steal the spotlight if needed, a trait Gatsby never really mastered, but he also knows when to slip out of view. Hes calculated and beautifully portrayed by Toni Servillo. At its core director/writer Paolo Sorrentio's film seems to be about the seduction of emptiness. The glamour and fame of simply being (and not actually doing) meaning little when there is no substance to it. That doesn't take away from its glossy appeal (and Sorrentio captures the chaos brilliantly); it just reveals that behind the curtain nothing is really as it seems. So Jep must face the truth about his life and either embrace it for what it is or live with the regret of what could have been. Or perhaps combine the two.
-Ryan Michael Painter