NEWS » La Grande Belleza awarded Golden Globe

La Grande Belleza awarded Golden Globe

Paolo Sorrentino's “The Great Beauty” (La Grande Bellezza) has been awarded the Golden Globe for the best foreign film.

It’s an important achievement if we consider that the last Italian film to win the recognition was 25 years ago Giuseppe Tornatore’s 1989 film “Cinema Paradiso”.

“La grande bellezza” is a powerful portrait of the Italian decadence. A famous 65 years old writer Jep Gambardella, (interpreted by Toni Servillo) who wrote just one book in all his life, spends his days going to and organizing parties in the eternal city. The movie, an explicit homage to Fellini’s “La dolce Vita” and “Roma” emphasizes the squalor and ignorance of the Italian cultural elite. Everyone is party going but there’s nothing to celebrate apart from the beauty of Rome, always in the background showing its magnificent beauty contrasting with the meaningless lives of the characters. 

The Golden Globe wasn’t the only prize “La grande bellezza” had received. The film, screened in competition at Cannes in May, won the best film honour at the European Film Awards; five Silver Ribbons (Nastri d'Argento), Italy's oldest film prize; and the Capri Visionary Movie Award.

The film is now among the ones nominated for the Oscars and it might now give Italy its first Oscar since Roberto Benigni’s Life Is Beautiful 15 years ago.

Paolo Sorrentino (43 years old) has emerged as one of Italy's most respected directors over the last decade, with five of his seven feature films screening in competition in Cannes. He has also won four David di Donatello honours, Italy's version of the Oscars, and four Nastri d'Argento prizes. “La grande bellezza” is the first of his movies to be selected as Italy's official Oscar candidate.

The Great Beauty will be competing against “The Broken Circle Breakdown” (Belgium), “The Suspect” (Denmark), “The Missing Picture” (Cambodia) and “Omar” (Palestine).

Italy has won the Academy Award for best foreign film 12 times up to now. Vittorio De Sica won four times: in 1947 with his “Shoeshine” (Sciuscià). In 1950 with “Bicycle Thieves” (Ladri di Biciclette), in 1965 with “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” (Ieri, Oggi e Domani) and in 1971 with “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” (Il giardino dei Finzi-Contini). Fellini also won the award four times, for “The Road” (La Strada) in 1957, “Nights of Cabiria” (Le notti di Cabiria) in 1958, “Eight and a Half” (Otto e mezzo) in 1963 and “Amarcord” in 1974.

Other Italian directors to have won the award are Elio Petri with “Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion” (Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto) in 1970; Giuseppe Tornatore with “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso” in 1990; Gabriele Salvatores with “Mediterraneo” in 1992; and Benigni for his “Life is Beautiful in 1999”, for which he also won the best actor award.

The 2014 Oscars will take place on March the 2nd, let’s hope for an Italian success!

Giulia Lombardo

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