The Great Beauty Film Discussion
News Release: Friday, January 3rd, 2020
"Last year, Ciao Asheville started its Italian film series with Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. To begin 2020 it is fitting that we begin with a movie that is often described as Felliniesque. This film, aptly named The Great Beauty, is directed by Paulo Sorrentino, and is filled with beautiful images of Rome. Some have also described the movie as “La Dolce Vita in technicolor, for the Berlusconi era"! Released in 2013, it won both an Oscar and Golden Globes awards for Best Foreign Language Film as well as many other international awards.
On one level, it is the story of Jeb Gambardella (played by award winning Toni Servillo) who is reflecting on his life (as he lived it, or as he could have lived it) as he turns 65. Having written one very successful novel, he has been living the high life and coasting ever since. Much of the story is told in connected episodes that include commentaries, poetic dialogues and images that make up Rome - both the gorgeous and the decadent.
But on another level, this movie can also be viewed as a story about the city of Rome and Italy. Has Italy lived up to its history and potential? The movie shows beautiful images of Rome (from ancient history) along with some of the shallowness of modern Rome, (the life that Jeb is now a part of). Pictures of the overturned ship, Costa Concordia, play a part in this story of Jeb and Italy as well as other scenes that make you stop and think. Runtime: 140 minutes."