La Grande Bellezza: Five Claims Worth Repeating

Posted on February 25, 2014


The Great BeautyWhen I first finished Albert Camus’s La Peste, I felt relief.

Because it had been written, because it existed, there was nothing I really had to write. If I decided to never write a word again, I could point people to La Peste and all that needed to be done would be done.

At the end of La Grande Bellezza, rather than relief, I felt an all too rare moment of intellectual and aesthetic solidarity. It was a pleasure to encounter an entertaining and well-executed work that articulated ideas that are also important to me.

Character-driven, well-paced, and well-shot, the movie makes five claims that are worth repeating.

  1. Most of what we do is an effort to distract ourselves from the inevitably of death.
  2. Beauty is everywhere, if we look for it.
  3. The greatest beauty happens between two people.
  4. Our distractions can distract us from beauty.
  5. Claims 1 – 4 are true for everyone, however fancy your tailored suit or cocktail dress may be.

When I finished reading La Peste, I felt relief  because, at the time that I read it, I really felt like there were no more words that I wanted to write. In contrast, the feeling of solidarity I experienced at the end of La Grande Bellezza is a useful reminder that even I would rather not feel alone in the universe.

Posted in: My Life, Philosophy