Grade • A-
DVD • If you’ve never been to Rome, or even if you have, “The Great Beauty” (which won the foreign-language Oscar this year) is a delightful trip through the Eternal City.
Director Paolo Sorrentino (“This Must Be the Place”) assigns us the perfect tour guide: Jep (Toni Servillo), a jaded writer still skating on the success of his only novel, published decades ago, and bouncing from party to party with Rome’s self-involved artists and idle rich.
Jep, at 65, has decided he’s weary of the party scene, so he starts entertaining himself by subverting the scene from within — lambasting a snobby friend (Galatea Ranzi) or bringing a stripper (Sabrina Ferilli) to a ritzy party.
Sorrentino perfectly captures the beauty and paradox of Jep’s Rome, where the sacred and profane bump into each over over the shrimp cocktail.