The Sacred and Profane in ‘The Great Beauty’

I saw the Oscar-nominated film The Great Beauty a few weeks ago, and as I told some friends, I hated it halfway through and then loved it by the end. So I enjoyed this consideration of the film at The Curator:

Athens and Jerusalem, the sacred and profane, discipline and dissipation—they impress us most when they are gold-plated. Some may resent that this film is about rich people, but I go to movies to enjoy them, and it’s more fun to watch rich people survey the wreckage of their lives because the wreckage is much more extravagant than mine. You and I have our own wreckage, but it’s probably on a different budget. Sorrentino succeeds because he never forgets that the wreckage in both instances is still human. Hence the twin failures of the recent films The Great Gatsby and The Wolf of Wall Street: All ruin, no people. A balance is necessary between the whirl of the high life and true contemplation of what it means to be alive. Otherwise a man who wakes at noon only to lie in a hammock with a glass of bourbon until the party resumes will not enchant us. Even if his jacket is by Kiton.

Read the whole thing here.


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