Sorrrentino has credited director Federico Fellini with influencing his creative life. “The Great Beauty” evokes Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita,” his legendary chronicle of dissolute Rome, albeit trading color for black and white. But the film also recalls Michelangelo Antonioni’s “La Notte,” in which characters try to assuage their sadness by going to parties and nightclubs. There are even echoes of Fellini’s boisterous “Roma.”
“The Great Beauty” made my list of the best movies of 2013. It’s an exhilarating study of remembrance and should be considered the front-runner for the foreign language Oscar. Servillo’s performance is to be savored in a film that must be seen.
Michael Calleri reviews films for Night and Day. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.