I finally saw this film.
One consequence is some nostalgia: I miss being surrounded by beauty. Sorry America, you know I'm a fan but a strip mall is ugly any way you cut it. And they are every where.
The scenery and aesthetics were, I found, striking and I liked the music and how it was used.
For the rest, I found it highly derivative. And I'm amazed at all the adulation poured on it from abroad. The Daily Telegraph mentions Rossellini and Fellini as influences, and how Sorrentino does the same for the Berlusconi era.
I disagree. The first two brought us a whole new genre or twist on a genre. La Grande Bellezza clearly wants to recall what came before, but it adds nothing new to the broader oeuvre. When compared to the best of Fellini it is almost pure imitation (La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2, Amarcord). I'm afraid I'm more inclined to side with the FTs Antonia Quirke on this one: social clichés, destination porn, "Fellini in Vegas" (= Baz Luhrmann).