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Sorrentino gets hero's welcome after Oscar win

Director hopes for 'positive repercussions on Italian cinema'

06 March, 12:58
Sorrentino gets hero's welcome after Oscar win (ANSA) - Rome, March 6 - Italian director Paolo Sorrentino received a hero's welcome at Rome's international Leonardo da Vinci airport Thursday on returning from New York after his film The Great Beauty won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film at the 2014 Academy Awards.

"I'm tired but delighted to return home," 43-year-old Sorrentino told reporters gathered at the airport to greet him. "I hope the Oscar has positive repercussions on Italian cinema in its entirety," he added. The Great Beauty is a jaundiced view of decadent, spicy but jaded high jinks in Italy's capital through the eyes of a culture critic played by acclaimed actor Toni Servillo, a veteran of five Sorrentino movies.

In his acceptance speech, Sorrentino thanked his hometown of Naples as well as Rome, and Italian cinematic icon Federico Fellini, to whom he looked for much of the film's inspiration. After bagging top foreign honors at the Golden Globe awards and the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs), The Great Beauty was considered the favorite at the Oscars despite a mixed reception at home.

It became the most-watched film in Italy in 10 years when it was broadcast on Silvio Berlusconi's flagship Canale 5 network on Tuesday night to mark the Oscar victory, luring an average 8.861 million viewers.