Written January 19, 2014
While there are some glimpses of genius, and some pretty scenography, this is mostly a very long imitation of Fellini. The theme of Rome's decadence has been done to death. Many scenes lasted way too long, and the story line was jagged. All smoke but little sausage.... (or as the Italians would say, "aria fritta" - fried air)
Written January 20, 2014
Not really the best indication of Italian cinema today, although nominated for an Oscar as best foreign film.
Really boring Fellini rip off with no discernible story line. We saw the downfall of Roman society, better, through Fellini's eyes in "La Dolce Vita" and "Roma".
Good performance by Toni Sevillo and lovely costumes and cinematography, and not much else.
Written January 11, 2014
Yes, the film is beautiful with a catchy soundtrack but the main character, in addition to being hard on the eyes, is completely dissipated and uninteresting.
There is little plot and a lot of pompous dialogue. It's a prime example of why some people are turned off European films.
Written January 13, 2014
This film is a masterwork of stunning imagery, spot-on acting, and warm truths about the absurdity of the human condition. A sly homage to Fellini, it is a tale told with great humor and generosity of spirit, allowing us to clearly see ourselves in all our striving, hopeful -- and hopeless -- complexity. Director Paolo Sorrentino paints a lush canvas depicting the excesses of Roman society, both high and low.
Although no one holds the answer to a life well lived, much less to our broad societal ills -- and we all harbor personal regrets big and small -- this bold, bright, thoughtful film makes the viewer feel at one with our beautiful, complex human community. Each well-drawn character, anchored by that cinematic treasure, Toni Servillo, possesses dreams and foibles to which we can all painfully relate. You will leave the theater with a smile on your face, a bounce in your heart, and a renewed commitment to at least do the best you can.
Written January 10, 2014
I love Italian films, and I love Italy, especially Roma. I wanted to love this film, but felt it went on too long, and was slowly paced. The film has the feel of an older Fellini movie, with strange characters (almost cartoonish) especially in the beginning. When we finally get to the story of the aging writer he's enchanting, and compelling. There is one big loose end (what happens to his friend's daughter who he begins to spend time with and maybe even love), since she just disappears.
It's beautifully, artfully filmed and I loved how it makes fun of art, artists, and playwrights who are too full of themselves. It's images are ones that will stay with me and remind me of the breathtaking loveliness of Roma.