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Golden Globe for Great Beauty cheered in Italy

Culture minister and Roman mayor congratulate Sorrentino

13 January, 14:36
Golden Globe for Great Beauty cheered in Italy (ANSA) - Rome, January 13 - Enthused reactions on Monday met the news that Italian director Paolo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) won the best foreign film award at the Golden Globes.

Compared by some to the work of cinematic icon Federico Fellini, the movie awarded late Sunday is about a culture critic immersed in the squalid world of Roman high society.

"Italian cinema is once more in the spotlight," declared Italian Culture Minister Massimo Bray, who congratulated Sorrentino and the film's cast.

"I had the honour of watching and appreciating this gorgeous film at its presentation at Cannes, along with the whole cast," Bray wrote in an open letter. "I am convinced that it is necessary to bet on our cultural industry".

Roman Mayor Ignazio Marino added his voice to the chorus of praise, saying, "To Paolo Sorrentino I want to offer my warmest congratulations, on my part and on behalf of this city which has inspired him so much". "The triumph of The Great Beauty at the Golden Globes is a source of deep pride for our country and in particular Rome, portrayed in all its extraordinary charm, despite its contradictions". "So thanks to Paolo Sorrentino. Rome is at his side and rooting for him, also in view of the next major challenges".

The prize awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is a huge boost for the film ahead of the Oscars in March.

The Great Beauty has made the shortlist of nine from which the five movies nominated in the Best Foreign Film category at the Academy Awards will be selected. "Thank you Italy," said Sorrentino after collecting the prize. "It's a truly strange country, but a beautiful one". It is the first time an Italian picture has won at the Golden Globes since Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso in 1989. Italy has not won an Academy Award since Roberto Benigni's Life Is Beautiful 15 years ago.

"It is obviously a great joy. None of us imagined winning a Golden Globe," leading man Toni Servillo told Sky TG24 on Monday.

Servillo said he exchanged messages with Sorrentino early Monday and praised the director for his talent. Servillo also said the prize demonstrated critics' and journalists' appreciation of "the novelty" of Sorrentino's "cinematic language". (photo: a still from The Great Beauty)