20. The Great Beauty (B+)
Last year's winner for Foreign Language Film, the first Italian winner in 15 years (quite a dry spell for one of the category's all-time champs) is a pretty obvious homage to the work of Frederico Fellini (who won this category for Italy four times). I'm kind of split on it (much like I was when I watched La Dolce Vita
several years ago -- The Great Beauty
at least is more than a half an hour shorter than its inspiration, which I found interminable). The camera work is excellent, and there's a lot of individual moments that are very well done; at the same time, it could fairly be called very pretentious (even while engaging in some amusing parodies of pretentious performance art), and the eclectic approach and lack of plot gets a bit wearying after a while.
Cinema: 9 (+1)