The Great Beauty

Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Year Released: 2013
Rating: 2.5

Journalist Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) acts as Sorrentino's guide through modern Rome - the way Marcello was Fellini's guide in La Dolce Vita (a film this begs to be compared to) - as he impassively acknowledges his disappointment in what's happened to the great city in his lifetime. More or less a series of loosely-connected vignettes, anecdotes and startling imagery, it shimmers sporadically before drifting off to another thought immediately thereafter - with tighter focus Sorrentino may have been onto something, but the intentionally detached view of decadence places the viewing audience into a state of perpetual ennui. Servillo is an intriguing central figure - he thinks nothing of asking a woman if they ever slept together before (presumably because he couldn't remember if they did or not) - though hedonism isn't exactly the most empathetic of lifestyle choices.