Hi everyone, I am so happy to be back with movie friday and especially happy to share about Paolo Sorrentino's 'La grande bellezza' - I wanted to do this right away after seeing it last winter, but never got round to do it.
I liked this movie so much that -honestly- as soon I saw the credits scrolling on the screen, I felt like buying another ticket to watch it all over again. 

Filming took place in Rome starting in August 2012, the complete work finally released in 2013. It was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and scheduled to be shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
I was enchanted by today's Rome as Sorrentino portrayed it in his film: breathtaking beautiful and decadent at the same time.

I won't give a description of the plot in details, I think it is great to see the movie discovering -without knowing anything beforehand- the life  and people around Jep Gambardella, fascinating main character extraordinarilly played by Toni Servillo.

Gambardella is a writer and journalist of great charme who's deeply soaked into Rome's night life and v.i.p. world and yet he manages somehow to float above it. He has previously written just one book, L'apparato umano, but despite its success, Jeb won't write other books. Each night he organizes or takes part to huge flamboyant parties, where he meets a group of confused friends: rich radical chic people, playwriter willing to be, Cardinals unusually passionate about cooking, living saints, a stripper with a huge secrets and many others.

Every morning Jeb returns home at dawn and goes to sleep when everyone else is beginning the day. The scenes where he wanders Rome's empty and beautiful streets, observing melanconically each mysterious corner, each sudden fragment of unsuspected beauty did steal my heart. in the same way, the very beginning of the movie hooked me. It starts showing a group of Japanese tourists visiting Rome, under an old fountain from which a chorus of young girl sings a melancholic and beautiful music. Suddently one of the tourists suffers an heart attack and immediately afterwords we see Jeb's 65 birthday party celebrated on a beautiful terrace at night. A major contrast between two sides of life that will accur in the whole movie.

Party after party, Jeb continues his life and walks, pondering, moving among mysteious palaces and trash feasts populated by people who refuse to surrender to the natural flow of life, who's faces are tightened by plastic surgery. Jeb is in costant search of 'la grande bellezza', the great beauty, something he has maybe lost in his past that he cannot recall.

I hope you can see this wonderful movie. As much of Sorrentino's work, gives such a unique perspective to people and life. Rossellini with 'ROma citta aperta' covered memorably the 1940's, Fellini with 'La dolce vita' covered the hedonism of the 1060's, Sorrentino gives today a good portrait of high society Rome and Berlusconi's sad era.

As I did not find a trailer with english subtitles, here is the transdlation of Jeb Gambardella's words:

"When I arrived in Rome, at 26 years of age, I fell fearly soon, almost without noticing it, in what we can call the vortex of mundane life. But I did not want simply to be mundane, I wanted to become the king of all mundane people.
I did not want simply to attend parties, I wanted to have te power of making them fail.

Everything is sedimented under the chatter and the noise:
 silence and feelings, emotions and fear, the sparse and erratic flashes of beauty,
 then the squalor of miserable men."


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