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TIFF 2013 Review: The Great Beauty


The Great Beauty
Special Presentation

Something which is constantly moving and yet going nowhere, this is Jep Gambardella (Tony Servillo). An ageing Dandy. A dapper 65 year old who looks like the quintessential Italian gent one might find clad in a gelato-coloured linen blazer and featured on The Sartorialist. A hedonist who is either throwing lavish parties for his ageing friends at his apartment (right across from the coliseum) or sleeping off said parties. When he’s not doing either of those two things he wanders Rome recalling his lost youth and deflecting the constant questions about his inability to write another novel. At times we feel sorry for Jep who is at once as wise as a sage and as vulnerable as artist. However, most of the time Jep is a wholly unlikeable character. We get the sense that he cares only for himself and having written a well received novel at a young age, patted himself on the back and resigned himself to a life of partying. The movie is essentially this; a tug of war between all these fragmented aspects of Jep.

The cinematography is beautiful and hypnotic, so much so that a film with no dialogue at all may have been possible. Director Paolo Sorrentino has been criticised in the past for his use of cranes, however it is hard to imagine how this film could have been made without them. These grand sweeping shots that fly over Rome are as grand as the city itself.

Monday September 9 – Scotiabank 1 – 9:45PM
Wednesday September 11 – TIFF Bell Lightbox 2 – 12:15PM

[star v=4]