Thursday, February 27, 2014

THE GREAT BEAUTY - 1 nomination


Foreign Language Film - Italy

Did you ever sit through 2 hours of a movie and wonder what the heck just happened in the story you just watched?  I have, it was called The Great Beauty.  It took over an hour for me to even figure out the plot.

The basic premise is that an aging writer in Rome looks back on his life and wonders if it was a series of opportunities wasted, how he missed out on the great love and beauty of his life, why he never wrote a second novel after much acclaim for the first, and if his decadent lifestyle has any meaning.  Scenes are set against the backdrop of avant garde performance art pieces, which seem to question life and its absurdity.  There are also heavy religious symbols, including a Mother Theresa-esque character, who is presumably there to provide a juxtaposition between crazy excess and over the top self-deprivation.

I know some people love these kinds of "arty" movies (The Great Beauty won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film), but I find them gratuitous, overly complex, and mostly exhausting.  I find no evidence that absurdity is a higher form of intellect, and The Great Beauty only seemed pretentious in its circus atmosphere.  You have to work way too hard to get the point.

However, I do have to give a shout out to the spectacular costumes and the absolutely beautiful soundtrack.  The production design was also wonderful and captivating, and with Rome for a backdrop, the setting was gorgeous.  Better than seeing the film, go to Rome, listen to some beautiful music, and go shopping on the Piazza Navona - it will have been time much better spent.

Haven't seen the film?
Watch The Great Beauty Movie Trailer

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