The best Paolo Sorrentino movies and shows, ranked


Paolo Sorrentino is arguably the most important Italian filmmaker today. Critics like to compare him to Federico Fellini. “I’m not trying to be Fellini”, Sorentino says. “Perhaps [the reference is made] because he was the greatest exponent of the combination of drama and comedy – but even Antonioni had a dark irony running through his work. For me, it goes back to long-standing Italian traditions where even in the lightest comedy there is a serious element, and in the darkest drama there is comedy.”

Sorrentino was born in Naples, Italy’s third largest city, in 1970. He lost his parents when he was 16; after a few years of studying economics at the University of Naples Federico II, he decided to become a filmmaker. Sorrentino made his successful film debut, the comedy-drama A man standingin 2001. Since then, he has made many brilliant films, received nominations at numerous festivals and award ceremonies, and won an Oscar for The great beauty; he recently earned an Oscar nomination for God’s hand. Let’s take a look at the best Sorrentino movies, ranked.

I go divo

The 2008 Cannes Film Festival and Oscar-nominated political drama ll Divo may be difficult for non-native Italians to understand, due to its domestic political content, but this film is a true masterpiece. Variety even noted that ll Divo “will become a touchstone for years to come.” Paolo Sorrentino directed the spunky, witty and highly stylized biopic with a meaningful soundtrack and an Oscar nomination for Best Makeup. The film follows Giulio Andreotti, seven-time Italian Prime Minister, and chronicles his political career, including his seventh election and a judicial investigation into corruption in the 1990s. Toni Servillo, one of the greatest actors of the 21st centuryplayed the main role.

The consequences of love

Sorrentino’s 2004 psychological thriller The consequences of love tells the story of a lonely man called Titta (played by Toni Servillo, in another of his many frequent collaborations with the director), who has been living in a hotel for eight years. His boring life changes after he develops feelings for a young waitress. The film features brilliant camera work, a superb cast, a wonderful style, and a unique storytelling that defined the director’s career. Sorrentino does The consequences of love at just 34, the film was a critical success.

This must be the place

This must be the place features a brilliant cast combination, with one of the best cinematic performances from Sean Penn and a charming Frances McDormand, and centers on retired rock star Cheyenne, who wants to reconcile with her father. Unfortunately, he arrives too late and sets off across America to better understand his father and find the man’s executioner during World War II, a Nazi SS.

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As far as I’m concerned, Sorrentino tells IFTN, “every film should be a relentless hunt for the unknown and the mystery. Not so much to find the answer, but to keep the question alive. During the genesis of this film, one of the many questions that never left was about the secret and mysterious life that former Nazi criminals are forced to live in one part of the world.” There are some amazing needle drops in the movie, which is fitting since it’s named after a Talking Heads song (and even features Talking Heads frontman David Byrne in a nice scene).

The Young Pope and the New Pope

Although some Catholics describe Sorrentino’s television series as cartoonish and anti-religious, critics and audiences have received it positively. The young pope and its sequel The new pope. The Observer wrote, “The young pope is the best and weirdest show of the decade.” Both TV shows feature an incredible Jude Law as the newly elected pontiff, Pius XIII, who troubles the Vatican and can be either a saintly saint or a Atheist scammer Sorrentino is visually stunning, proving that masterpieces can be shown not only on the big screen, but also on the small screen, creating one of the best HBO series available.


The comedy-drama of 2015 Youth is a beautiful philosophical story about loneliness, aging and life in general. In the film, Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel play two old best friends who contemplate their past, present and future in a luxury Swiss hotel. Paolo Sorrentino opened up to Independent wire in regards to Youthsaying, “The biggest theme in my mind was aging, how two old people can answer the question, ‘What is my future?’ That was the obsessive question I had in my head. A Through this film, I tried to find an answer.”

God’s hand

The semi-autobiographical drama of Paolo Sorrentino in 2021 God’s hand follows a teenage Fabietto (played by Filippo Scotti) who becomes an adult after an unexpected tragedy. The film also has a lot of happy moments, like nice scenes with the family and examples with Diego Maradona, Fabietto’s idol. Sorrentino has returned to Naples, his hometown, to tell the story of the young dreamer who grew up to become the famous director. It’s a heartbreaking, beautifully shot and moving masterpiece.

Related: Here are some of the best international or foreign movies on Netflix

The great beauty

The great beauty won the Oscar for best international feature film and is certainly one of the greatest films of the 21st century. This 2013 Paolo Sorrentino drama centers on 65-year-old Jep Gambardella (played by Toni Servillo), author of one and only bestselling novel. After thinking back to his first love, Jep begins a sad reinterpretation of his past and is used to finding beauty in Rome and in his life. “Perfectly in Sorrentino’s modern take on the themes of Fellini’s La dolce vita, emphasizing the emptiness of social entertainment, Great Beauty will surprise, perplex and bewitch discerning audiences in search of grand cinematic feasts”, Variety abstract.

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