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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Comments on both the humor and pathos in the act of living. Asserts that individuals engage in "performance" as a means of protecting their fragile souls. Finds purpose in the act of re-examining your life and trying to make sense of it.
Positive Role Models
The hero is the self-made "king of high society." He's elegant, intelligent, and clever. Over the course of the film, he gets in touch with his humanity, his frailty, and his ability to come to terms with his life. The movie offers a stunning parody of Rome's cafe society yet finds compassion for the individuals who are a part of it. A key character, endowed with wisdom, power, and empathy, is a female dwarf.
Violence & Scariness
Some disturbing scenes. A woman purposefully runs head-first into a stone wall. A child is forced to create art while in a state of uncontrollable rage. A tourist drops dead. Several off-camera deaths occur, resulting in shock and grief.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexuality and sensuality are primary focuses of the film. Nudity (full frontal -- both male and female), partial nudity (breasts, revealing clothing), and sexual behavior (post sexual moments, talk of sex, stripping, sexual language) are woven throughout. No intercourse is shown.
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Swearing and sexual dialogue in many scenes: "bastard," "pain in the ass," "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "screw you," "badass," "balls," "bitch."
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Products & Purchases
Some Italian products are occasionally visible (i.e., Martini, Peroni).
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking and smoking occur throughout the film. Alcohol fuels the behavior at many of the wild parties depicted, with some drunkenness and abandon. The lead character is shown with a cigarette and alcoholic beverages in scene after scene. In one extended sequence, party-goers snort cocaine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the Oscar-winning The Great Beauty (in Italian with English subtitles) is an exceptional film for mature audiences, set among the wealthiest citizens of Rome. In a movie in which every image is magic, Paolo Sorrentino captures the wild escapades, the devastating personal tragedies, and the profundities of the "examined life." Nudity (both partial and full frontal -- and lots of it), sexuality, and profanity, along with alcohol and substance abuse, all contribute to the portrait the writer/director paints of one man at the age of 65 and the society in which he lives. Some scenes may disturb even the most sophisticated audiences (a woman purposefully runs head-first into a stone wall; a young girl is forced to create "art" while in a state of utter hysteria; a saintly nun pushes herself to extremes of physical punishment). Language includes "s--t," "f--k," "bastard," "screw," "p---y," and "ass." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) is beautiful, original, eccentric, monstrous at times, and always unexpected. It carries a willing audience into the gloriousness of Rome -- and into the hearts of a bizarre gathering of pretenders, misfits, snobs, and voyeurs. Sometimes mocking, sometimes surprising us with its compassion, the film defies convention. Each frame is a thing of beauty; Rome fills the screen with its living art -- its architecture, its religious core, its outcasts, and, first and foremost, its art. As we travel with him, Jep becomes a thing of beauty as well -- flawed, self-absorbed, and yet radiant, insightful, and humane.
Not a movie for everyone, certainly not for young kids, the irony here is that while Jep never found "The Great Beauty" he was looking for, Paolo Sorrentino has found his with a camera.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.