Last week we presented a great Italian movie from the 1990s, “La Vita è Bella” (Life is Beautiful). This time we have chosen to celebrate a more recent movie, “La Grande Bellezza” (The Great Beauty), which won an Academy Award as best foreign language film this year.
The film follows the life of an aging writer, Jep Gambardella, walking through the ruins of Rome and reflecting on his life full of parties and love affairs, pondering on his sense of unfulfillment. Jep wrote a successful novel early in his career, but then didn’t follow up on this, choosing an easier career as a newspaper columnist. This seems to be a reflection of Italy in general, a country full of people capable of great things, if they chose to work hard on them. Gambardella instead chooses to live a meaningless life among the beauty of Rome.
The film was reviewed positively by most international commentators. In Italy instead the movie split the critics between some who wrote that it was on a par with Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, and those who thought the movie was just a bad reproposition of Fellini’s masterpiece. In any case, it offers the viewer the opportunity to see some great shots of Rome, especially at sunset.
Here is the trailer of the film:
Watching the movie in Italian will help you become more fluent. Try watching it for the first time with English subtitles on (so that you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the story); and then watch it once again while concentrating on the language. Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything! If you can pick up, learn and remember four or five sentences you will have made a worthy improvement. Keep learning Italian, and then watch the movie again in one year’s time: you will be surprised to notice you will be able to understand much more. This is the philosphy behind this website: Learn Italian Daily, bit by bit, and you will quickly improve.
However, do not take this film as a realistic depiction of life in Rome: remember that it is just a work of art.
Let us know if you like the movie: you can buy the DVD on Amazon.com