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The Great Beauty - Film Review

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by Helen Belli (subscribe)
I am now living in Kariong on the Central Coast
Published February 26th 2014
During the 1970s Rome became the centre for the beautiful people, it was the time of La Dolice Vita. Jep Gambandella is the protagonist and spokesman for a group of artists. They are rich and determined to live out side the rules of mundasity (sic). Life is to be enjoyed at all costs, boredom is avoided by grasping all newness. There is no such thing as a self conscious Roman. They have access to all that Rome has to offer, a city of paradoxes, home to Papa and irredeemable excess.

Jep financed his life style by writing one best seller and knows how to live well. He writes an occasional article for a social page in a gossip magazine, but enjoyment no matter how pleasantly furtile, is his way of life. The camera goes to places that only the privileged can view, antique palaces and opulent gardens. In contrast the ridiculous is on the agenda. Anti aging products are embraced to stay young. The1970s must be preserved, it was and still is their hay day. Gratify you every wish, what ever it may be.

Aristocrats can be bought to give class to your dinner table and empty headed cardinals are among the guests.

Jep isn't unaware of his fellow creatures and their needs. He dances at parties, and cries at funerals. He is sensitive but at the same time brutally honest with his peers. If he has something to say that is nasty he doesn't deliver it in a nasty way. They will dance together the following day. Jep is a happy man full of contrasts and easy to love.

His charm? His dedication to the church? He has an unlikely fan. Why does a 104 year old nun want to dine with Jep and his friends? A lavish dinner is served at his apartment which over looks the Colosseum, but she only eats roots. Maybe this is a great subject for an Opera.

This is Italy's official entry for the 2014 Academy Awards. It is spell binding and a must see, not once but at least twice. Maybe you were in Rome during the1970s and can reminisce with Jep, which, dear reader, your reviewer was.
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Why? Look into an extravagant life
When: Out now
Where: At select cinemas
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