Friday, 15 November 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 340: Thu Dec 5

The Great Beauty (Sorrentino, 2013): BFI Southbank, Studio, 8.15pm


This film - one of the best of 2013 - is on an extended run from November 27 to December 11.

Time Out review:
Life is a performance and Rome is the stage in ‘The Great Beauty’ from Paolo Sorrentino, the Italian director of ‘The Consequences of Love’ and ‘Il Divo’. In Sorrentino’s last film, the English-language ‘This Must Be the Place’, Sean Penn usurped Toni Servillo as the actor at the heart of Sorrentino’s strongly visual, energetic and heavily musical studies of strange, flawed men. But now Servillo is back, playing a dapper, cultured and dilettantish Roman writer Jep Gambardella, always dressed in a fine suit and finer shoes. For much of ‘The Great Beauty’, it feels like the film may only ever be a thrilling dip into a strange, rarefied world – a world where botox is on sale at high-class clubs and a mysterious man with a briefcase full of keys gives the privileged access to Rome’s galleries in the dead of the night. But when the party slows down and the music begins to fade, ‘The Great Beauty’ creeps up on us, just as life is creeping up on Jep. It’s an exploration of all things surface, yes, but it has soul too, and just as the supremely controlled and refined Jep surprises himself by crying at a funeral, so the final power of ‘The Great Beauty’ surprises us too.
Dave Calhoun

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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