Thursday, April 26, 2018
Things To Do

Review: 'The Great Beauty' probes beneath the surface

The Great Beauty (Not rated, probably R) (142 min.) — After winning the Golden Globe for best foreign language film, Italy's entry The Great Beauty is the de facto favorite to claim the Academy Award in the same category. Cut from similarly sexy and satirical cloth as Federico Fellini's masterworks a half-century ago, Paolo Sorrentino's movie glides like reverie, probing the emptiness that can result from living a full life.

Jep Gambardella, played by the stealthily expressive Toni Servillo, has been king of Rome's high life for decades, revered as the author of an Italian literary treasure. That is Jep's only enduring artistic accomplishment, his talent otherwise frittered away on personality profiles, like a fatuous performance artist whose "art" consists of nude masochism, taken down several pegs by his mocking questioning.

The propping-up of junk to the level of art is a recurring theme in The Great Beauty, like a bratty child's tantrums earning millions because she's armed with cans of paint. Jep sees through these phonies, after celebrating them for his own success. He embraces that hypocrisy, too old now to "waste any more time doing things I don't want to do." The audience observes Rome's debauched culture — luxuriously filmed by Luca Bigazzi — as passively as Jep's bemused bystander to this carnival of artifice.

In his leisure time, and there's plenty, Jep returns to the pulsing nightlife he's tiring of: garish gatherings with a social circle of so-called friends primed for his methodical demolishing of egos. Jep is willing to accommodate, with a cynical streak wider than his crocodile smile. Throughout The Great Beauty, Sorrentino toys with the flip-side ugliness of success, making his movie somewhat akin to The Wolf of Wall Street, with clearer purpose and English subtitles. The pointlessness of Jep's journey is Sorrentino's point, richly made. Shown with English subtitles. A- (Tampa Theatre)

Steve Persall, Times movie critic

Comments
Neville Brothers saxophonist Charles Neville dead at 79

Neville Brothers saxophonist Charles Neville dead at 79

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans-born saxophone player Charles Neville has died at age 79. His career dated back to the 1950s and included gigs backing up B.B. King among others. But he was best known for three decades of performances with his siblings Aaro...
Updated: 2 hours ago
FEC plans crackdown on zombie campaigns

FEC plans crackdown on zombie campaigns

The federal agency that oversees elections has announced a crackdown on former lawmakers who continue to spend leftover campaign donations long after leaving office.The Federal Election Commission announced Wednesday that it will start scrutinizing t...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Big Boi’s concert at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa: Canceled

Big Boi’s concert at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa: Canceled

Well, this news is colder than a polar bear's toenails.Outkast rapper Big Boi has canceled his May 24 concert at the Ritz Ybor "due to unforeseen scheduling," according to a tweet from the venue. No further explanation was given, but refunds will be ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Wonder Woman 2 to take place in .. the ’80s!

Wonder Woman 2 to take place in .. the ’80s!

After the success of the Wonder Woman big-screen reboot in 2017, there was little doubt a sequel would be coming soon. But here's the fun twist: Wonder Woman 2 will be set in the 1980s!Screenrant.com says director Patty Jenkins confirmed the next mov...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Enjoy a beach day in Mahahual, minutes from the cruise port in Costa Maya, Mexico

Enjoy a beach day in Mahahual, minutes from the cruise port in Costa Maya, Mexico

A trip to the Caribbean conjures up visions of swaying palms and a watercolor palette of blues, greens and shades in between. Just 10 minutes or so from the port of Costa Maya, Mexico, a fixture on most western Caribbean cruise itineraries, lies an i...
Updated: 10 hours ago
5 things to do under $5 this week

5 things to do under $5 this week

Looking for free or cheap fun this weekend?
Updated: 11 hours ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 27

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 27

Waitress: The Broadway hit musical based on Adrienne Shelley’s film follows Jenna, a waitress stuck in a bad marriage and a small town. 8 p.m., Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $45-$128. (8...
Updated: 11 hours ago
This week's best concerts: Flo Rida, Queens of the Stone Age, Bay 2 Beach Festival and more

This week's best concerts: Flo Rida, Queens of the Stone Age, Bay 2 Beach Festival and more

Want to see some live music?
Updated: 11 hours ago
5 things to do under $5: 10,000 Maniacs, Dragon Boat Races, Pepper Fest

5 things to do under $5: 10,000 Maniacs, Dragon Boat Races, Pepper Fest

Here's your free and cheap ideas for the weekend.
Updated: 11 hours ago
Less Than Zero series coming to Hulu

Less Than Zero series coming to Hulu

Of all the '80s flicks to be reborn as TV series, nobody had put any money on Less Than Zero to make the cut. And yet, that's the news: Hulu is developing a TV series based on the 1987 film that starred Andrew McCarthy, Robert Downey Jr., J...
Published: 04/26/18