La Grande Bellezza wins best foreign language Oscar

Rome movie crowned best foreign language film at Hollywood ceremony

Paolo Sorrentino's La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty) won an Oscar for best foreign language film at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles on 28 February.

The Oscar becomes the film's highest achievement after a string of European and US honours including the recent Golden Globe, also in Los Angeles. It is the first Oscar for the Neapolitan Sorrentino and the 11th win for Italian cinema since foreign language film became a competitive category in 1956. No other country has won Oscars as many times in this category; the last Italian film that won was Roberto Benigni's Life is Beautiful in 1998.

In his acceptance speech Sorrentino acknowledged his "sources of inspiration" which included legendary movie directors Federico Fellini and Martin Scorcese, as well as former Argentine soccer player Diego Maradona who once played for Napoli soccer club. Sorrentino also thanked his family and the central focus of his film, Rome.

La Grande Bellezza beat The Broken Circle Breakdown from Belgium, The Hunt from Denmark, Omar from Palestine, and The Missing Picture from Cambodia.

Set in Rome, the 2013 film follows Jep Gambardella (played by actor Toni Servillo), a hedonistic socialite who is forced to examine his party-filled life after his 65th birthday.

See Wanted in Rome review of La Grande Bellezza.