Research article

La noia della grande bellezza: Il film di Sorrentino attraverso il romanzo di Moravia



This article proposes to read the 2014 Oscar Prize winning film La grande
bellezza, by Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, alongside Alberto Moravia’s
1960 novel La noia, taking as a starting point the similarities between the works’ protagonists: Jep Gambardella, an eccentric failed writer, in Sorrentino’s film, and Dino, a painter who quits painting and is involved in a troubled love story, in Moravia’s novel. Both works are homodiegetic narrations of their respective protagonists’ memories; both focus on their artistic failure and psychological distress; both of them connect failure and distress with a desperate love. The anthropological analysis of the film’s plot and its dialogues aims to demonstrate that film and novel alike, show the existential crisis of an individual: in the novel, the protagonist’s crisis is transfigured into the feeling of tedium and deals with the problem of possessing Cecilia’s body; in the film, it is symbolised by the upsetting relationship with beauty and is mediated by the languages of memory, love and the sacred. La grande bellezza may be considered a representation of man’s difficult relationship with reality, in its tautological alternation of beauty and triviality, just as La noia was fifty years earlier.

  • Year: 2016
  • Volume: 16
  • Page/Article: 42-59
  • DOI: 10.18573/newreadings.3
  • Published on 1 Jan 2016
  • Peer Reviewed