The Great Beauty: astonishing modern take on La Dolce Vita
Ambitious homage to Fellini's classic is a coup de cinema and Tony Servillo is wonderful in it
What you need to know
Paolo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty (La Grande Belleza) opens at UK cinemas today. It was nominated for a Palme d'Or at Cannes this year.
In The Great Beauty, journalist Jep Gambardella has charmed his way through Rome's social circles and hedonistic night life for decades, but a shock on his 65th birthday prompts him to reflect on lost love and squandered talent. Toni Servillo (Il Divo and Gomorrah) stars as Jep.
What the critics like
This fantastically ambitious film, which sets out to explain Rome, might one day stand alongside Roberto Rossellini's Rome, Open City and Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita, says Robbie Collin in the Daily Telegraph. For now it's "a shimmering coup de cinema to make your heart burst".
This lush, classical tale of middle-age hedonism and lost love looks and feels superb - "it is pure couture cinema", says Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian. And Tony Servillo is wonderful in this brilliantly executed, glitteringly hypnotic film.
Sorrentino's modern take on Fellini's La Dolce Vita is densely packed and often astonishing, says Jay Weissberg in Variety. "It will surprise, perplex and bewitch highbrow audiences yearning for big cinematic feasts."
What they don't like
Sorrentino's Fellini-like feast for the eyes is sumptuous and self-indulgent, says Guy Lodge in Empire. "Some will thrill to its florid sensibility, others may feel the need for a Maalox." ·