Review by Dennis Morton (audio above / see text below)
The Great Beauty, an Italian film, directed by Paolo Sorrentino, is almost two and a half hours long, and, on my initial viewing, it took me almost thirty minutes to begin to enjoy it. For the first fifteen minutes or so, the camera is mostly focused on a wild party that takes place on the huge balcony of a posh apartment overlooking the ancient Roman Coliseum.
Was the point to skewer the ostentatious opulence of the party-goers and their host, or what? Upon reflection, I realized there was a touch of skewering in the scene, but that it was primarily a flamboyant way to introduce viewers to most of the major characters in the film.