Trailer of Paolo Sorrentino‘s film ‘The Great Beauty (La grande bellezza)’, a beautiful film shot in Rome which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film 2014.
One of the most spectacular and talked-about films of the Cannes Film Festival, and Italy’s official submission for the 2014 Academy Awards, THE GREAT BEAUTY is Paolo Sorrentino’s powerful and evocative tale of hedonism and lost love, and an extraordinary depiction of contemporary Rome — where life is a performance, and the city its stage.
65-year-old Jep Gambardella (the extraordinary Toni Servillo) is a jaded journalist and wealthy bon vivant whose early promise as a novelist has never been fulfilled, though his infamy remains. He lives in a luxurious apartment overlooking the Colosseum and is a regular of Rome’s party circuit for the elite, a never-ending nocturnal parade of decadence that rages through antique palaces, immense villas and opulent terraces around the Eternal City.
The blinding metropolis Jep strolls through by day seems to reflect the futility of his actions and those of his friends, but his worldview begins to shift after a man arrives on his doorstep and informs him of the death of his first love. Both troubled and moved by the revelation, Jep is flooded with memories of the past and ponders the promise of what may remain….
Arguably one of the most striking evocations of a city ever filmed, THE GREAT BEAUTY is a vibrant and breathtaking cinematic feast for the senses that captures Rome in a style reminiscent (and in celebration) of the great Fellini — in all of its splendour and superficiality, magnificence and malevolence, artifice and significance.
Sorrentino was born in Naples. His first film as screenwriter, The Dust of Naples, was released in 1998. He also began directing short movies, including L’amore non ha confini in 1998 and La notte lunga in 2001. His feature-length debut was One Man Up (L’uomo in più), for which he was awarded the Nastro D’Argento prize.
He achieved international recognition in 2004 for his thriller, The Consequences of Love (Le conseguenze dell’amore). The film, which explores the mindset of a lonely businessman being used as a pawn by the Mafia, won many awards and was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
Sorrentino’s next feature, The Family Friend (L’amico di famiglia), was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in May and the London Film Festival in October 2006. It tells the story of a malicious septuagenarian loan shark who develops a fixation with the beautiful daughter of one of his customers.
Sorrentino made his acting debut with a cameo appearance in Nanni Moretti’s film The Caiman (Il caimano), which was also shown at the 2006 London Film Festival.
Sorrentino’s following film, Il Divo, is a dramatised biopic of Giulio Andreotti, the controversial Italian politician. The feature, which won the Prix du Jury at Cannes Film Festival, sees Sorrentino reunited with The Consequences of Love star Toni Servillo, who plays the part of Andreotti.
In 2009, Sorrentino wrote the screenplay for a film version of Niccolò Ammaniti’s Ti prendo e ti porto via (Steal You Away).
This Must Be the Place marked the English-language feature debut of the Italian filmmaker. The plot centres around a middle-aged wealthy rock star, played by two-time Academy Award winner Sean Penn, who becomes bored in his retirement and takes on the quest of finding the guard of the German camp where his father was imprisoned, who now lives in hiding in the United States. The film was co-written by Sorrentino and Umberto Contarello, and premiered in competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
His 2013 film The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in the 2014 Academy Awards. It won the BAFTA award for Best Film Not in the English Language in the 67th British Academy Film Awards. It also won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. The film also received several accolades at the 2013 European Film Awards, including “Best Film” and “Best Director” for Sorrentino.
Youth (2015) is Sorrentino’s second English-language film, and features Michael Caine as a retired orchestra conductor. It competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.