The Great Beauty

  • 15
  • Paolo Sorrentino (2013)
  • It / Fr (SUB)
  • 135 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

The good life has featured heavily in Italian cinema, and in covering the glittering social life of Rome, director Paolo Sorrentino is treading bravely in the footsteps of Federico Fellini and his legendary film La Dolce Vita. Luckily, Sorrentino has an original, wryly humorous style that frequently comes to the fore during a serpentine 140 minutes in the company of jaded journalist Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo). Jep embarks on a series of reporting assignments just as some sad news reaches him that reminds him of his promising youth as a novelist. As far as the storyline goes, that's pretty much it. But there's real richness in the episodic nature of Jep's endeavours, whether meeting an idiotic performance artist, a celebrated pre-teen painter, or dancing the conga at the latest chic niterie. Jep absorbs it all with a dry smile and this good-humoured cynicism makes him the perfect guide for a VIP tour of a secret, horribly fashionable world that one wouldn't want to linger in yet can't help but find fascinating.

Plot Summary

A disillusioned writer leads a luxurious life in Rome's high society, but grows increasingly contemptuous of the shallow people who surround him. He wanders the city in search of inspiration, haunted by his own lost youth and past mistakes. Comedy drama, starring Toni Servillo and Carlo Verdone. In Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Chinese.

Cast and crew


Jep Gambardella
Toni Servillo
Carlo Verdone
Sabrina Ferilli
Lello Cava
Carlo Buccirosso
Iaia Forte
Pamela Villoresi
Galatea Ranzi
Conte Colonna
Franco Graziosi
Giorgio Pasotti


Paolo Sorrentino

Other Information

Italian +subtitles
Theatrical distributor: 
Artificial Eye
Swearing, sexual references, drug abuse, nudity.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 6 Sep 2013
Certificate 15