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DVD review: Rome is a party in 'Great Beauty'

Published March 24, 2014 11:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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. —

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