Sorrentino thanks ‘crazy, but beautiful’ Italy

Italian film The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza), directed by Paolo Sorrentino, picked up the Golden Globe for best foreign film on Sunday night.

Sorrentino thanks 'crazy, but beautiful' Italy
Paolo Sorrentino with his Golden Globe award. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP

The Italian beat off competition from four other nominees, including the French film Blue Is the Warmest Color (La Vie d'Adèle) and Japan's The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu).

Collecting the award along with producer Nicola Giuliano, Sorrentino thanked the “crazy country, but beautiful” Italy.

The Great Beauty, which follows a journalist’s life in Rome, has already won a string of accolades including four European Film Awards.

Sorrentino’s film has also been nominated for a BAFTA award in the UK and is shortlisted for the Oscars in March.

Watch a video of Sorrentino's acceptance speech:

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PHOTOS: Double takes in Rome as John Malkovich plays pope

Dressed in white robes and other papal insignia, actor John Malkovich delighted throngs on Saint Peter's Square in the Vatican City on Thursday as he filmed a scene for Paulo Sorrentino's The New Pope series.

PHOTOS: Double takes in Rome as John Malkovich plays pope
Is the pope? No, it's The New Pope. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

Pilgrims did a double take as the bearded “pontiff” strode around, the 65-year-old going as far as to greet babies proffered for his “blessing”.

After the major success of Sorrentino's The Young Pope series, starring Jude Law, the Italian director has returned with a follow-up drama with American Malkovich as Pope John Paul III.

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The actor rode on board a black popemobile rather than the usual white variant and bodyguards were on hand just in case the enthusiasm of yellow rose-waving bystanders ever got out of hand as he left the vehicle to acknowledge them.

As well as spying Malkovich, onlookers also got to see the escort of visiting Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite along the famed Via della Conciliazione en route to a reception with Pope Francis.

But it appeared it was the actor who got top billing as he was put through his paces for the eight-part series — a collaboration between Sky, HBO and Canal+.

Law played an ultra-conservative and machiavellian Pope Pius XIII in The Young Pope, a well-received ten-part series.

All photos by Vincenzo Pinto for AFP.