It is now more than fifteen years since the victory of Roberto Benigni 's unforgettable Life is Beautiful . On Sunday, in Hollywood, an Italian film came back to triumph in the Best Foreign Film category. And it did it after bringing home the same award at both the Golden Globes and BAFTAs in the weeks before. This is The Great Beauty, the new film by Paolo Sorrentino.
The film recounts the story of Jep Gambarella, a journalist and theatre critic (played magnificently by Tony Servillo, at this moment the best actor that Italian cinema can offer) and also the writer, in his youth, of a single novel The Apparatus Human.
The journalist, a man of great charm, immerses himself in the beauty of Rome's great past, whilst at the same time busying himself with the mundane events of the city. He attends every evening salon in the capital, jumping between parties vulgar and poor taste, along with his circle of friends.
Jep, by now lazy and impatient, understands that in his life there is nothing left to believe, and reduces its existence to a single purpose: "not to slip into the mundane of the mundane".