Our review of the book La Grande Belezza: Roman slice

By Eric Neuhoff

Published ,

The Great Bellezzaby Paolo Sorrentino, translated by Anna Colao, Éditions Séguier, 202 pages, €21. Editions Séguier

CRITICISM – Paolo Sorrentino is releasing a book to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his successful film. A scenario in the form of a novel.

Ten years. The Great Bellezza dates from 2013. We had to celebrate. The cake is in the shape of a volume with Toni Servillo in an orange jacket on the cover. This is the scenario that Paolo Sorrentino had written with Umberto Contarello. It looks like a novel. There are the dialogues from the film, obviously. There are also descriptions, what serious people call didascalies. They are full of clever notations and moralist remarks. “He sips a bellini, the tail of those who don’t drink.” Some scenes will not end up on screen, at least not exactly.

Not included in these pages is the meeting with Fanny Ardantat night, in a street in Rome, which echoes the Anna Magnani of Fellini-Roma. Jep Gambardella, a journalist who once published a novel called The human device, hardly lets go of his gl of gin and tonic. With his linen suits, he goes from social evening to meeting. The terrace of his apartment overlooks the Vatican (in the film, it’s the Colosseum)…

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