The Great Beauty

Directed by Paolo Sorrentino

Starring Toni Servillo

Not RatedPlaying at Lincoln Plaza "The Great Beauty" finds Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino channeling Frederico Fellini and other masterful chroniclers of the surreal, absurd and unrelentingly beautiful Roman cityscape.

The impressionistic film is centered on Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo), a 65-year-old writer who experiences many facets of the city over the course of heady nights and beautiful days.

It's often said that Rome is essentially a living history museum, with the ancient and modern worlds colliding on its streets. Sorrentino's sweeping camera captures that unique feel, through long takes and lush imagery that finds immanence everywhere it looks.

This isn't a movie for everyone. It's very Italian, with its jabs at the national id, and it's filled with abstract constructions. Yet the grand tradition of city symphonies, films tailored to celebrate the mood and feeling of their urban settings, lives on here.