19 January 2014

Review: La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty)

Genre: Drama (Meditative)

There is a great deal of what is true in La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty), Paolo Sorrentino's (palpably influenced) exploratory buffet of one man's particular experience in existential search of a singular gobbet of sustaining vision. Told in a retrospective soup — served calda — the film is impressive in its conjugation of so much of what one cannot underestimate as a panorama of instances, which not so carefully assembled would surely otherwise take the impression of a frivolous menagerie of curiosities sometimes provocative but mostly just lurid, even if manicured. What a viewer then should expect to receive from the film is not any truth himself or herself, but a strong sense of appreciation of something so well tuned and crafted that it bears vivid verisimilitude to an actual experience — not the experience, mind you — of trying. Is that experience what the film terms "The Great Beauty"? If so, then it is more lost than I am giving it credit for being; if not, then fiat ars.

Grade: A-

P. S. Woe to you, viewer who still "distinguish" 'high' from 'low.'

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