“La Grande Bellezza / The Great Beauty” returned my faith in Italian cinema precisely because it addresses the problem of superficiality in Italian culture, art and politics for the last several years.
Creating something of your own and being careful not to simply reproduce a cinematic masterpiece can be quite tricky. The film is clearly an homage to Fellini’s famous La Dolce Vita, yet strikingly original. This strange mixture of imitation and originality is clear from the film titles, distinct yet similar in meaning and amount of irony implied. The inspiration is evident and purposefully so, but the film succeeds in its own right. Creating something of your own and being careful not to simply reproduce a cinematic masterpiece can be quite tricky. Sorrentino works that balance impeccably.
Initially it may seem a bit pretentious, but the film may be the only one which does any justice to the beauty of Rome. It is also the quintessential reflection of modern decadence with its senseless excess and the general decline of substance with the consequence of falsely inflated egos. The final credits do justice to the film and they are worth noting.