The Great Beauty by Paolo Sorrentino has won the Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film. What a honour for the Italian Cinematography, which hasn’t seen the prestigious award since 1997 with Life is beautiful by Roberto Beinigni.
Since the beginning of his career, Sorrentino made films inspired by a wry and sincere style and a very personal idea of what great cinema should be: a cinema mainly made by great and unforgettable characters, reflecting on deep and poetical thematics from a hooking and compelling perspective.
An example of this is The Divine. In this film Sorrentino is able to turn a boring and tedious matter, like the life of an old and misogynistic Italian politician (Giulio Andreotti), into a fascinating drama thriller. In few words Sorrentino showed that it is possible to take a dull plot and make a brilliant narrative out of it.
…He’s obsessed by his appearance and his troubled past…
All Sorrentino’s heroes are unique for something, either in their way of talking or in their behaviour, like Cheyenne, the sad rockstar performed by Sean Pean in This Must Be The Place. He’s obsessed by his appearance and his troubled past, to the extent that he’s not able to get out from a cronic depression.
Also Sorrentino’s last story presents unique characters and an overwhelming esthetics of the tale and the images. The Great Beauty is a nonsense trip, led by a melancholic writer named Gep Gambardella who wanders through the streets of Rome like a shadow through the wonderful scenarios of an open air museum. During his trip Gep is cynical, frivolous, always immersed in a dreamlike atmosphere made of parties and intellectual events. Only at the end we figure out that this nonsense is just a prelude to what he’s desperately looking for: the real sense of life, the beauty hidden under all the noises, lies, and circumstances of human living.
…Sorrentino’s work affects the audience profoundly…
What is extraordinary in Sorrentino’s filmography is the poetical intensity of the words, the images, and the music (which always fits the situations) that are constantly intertwined, and shape a perfect synchronization within the whole narration. This makes Sorrentino’s idea of film extremely literary, and his approach more similar to the novelist’s rather than to the filmaker’s one.
Besides this amazing victory, it is certain that Sorrentino’s work affects the audience profoundly, despite the nonlinear style, the unrealistic characters, the grotesque and absurdous situations.
…he wants to express his personal envision of visual literature through the help of the big screen…
Sorrentino doesn’t want to be realistic, politically correct or simply tell a story, but he wants to express his personal envision of visual literature through the help of the big screen.
That’s why when people go to watch one of his films, they have the feeling of being involved in an artistic experience which goes far beyond the limits of the cinematographic one.