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(Courtesy photo) Toni Servillo, as Jep Gambardella, in a scene from Italian director Paolo Sorrentino's "La grande bellezza" (The Great Beauty).
DVD review: Rome is a party in ‘Great Beauty’
First Published Mar 22 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Mar 22 2014 01:01 am

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.

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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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