Stealing Beauty 1996 (1996) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: After her mother commits suicide, nineteen year old Lucy Harmon travels to Italy to have her picture painted. However, she has other reasons for wanting to go. She wants to renew her ... Runtime: 118 mins Release Date: 14 Jun 1996
An Underrated, Misunderstood Gem of a Film (by gks1029)
While Liv Tyler is the "star" of this film she is only one facet of a beautiful film. While many comments focus on the coming of age plot line. This film not only presents a sexual beginning, but also an emotional journey. With the death of her poet laureate mother, Lucy Liv Tyler must find her way to emotional and sexual adulthood. Fortunately, the film never gets bogged down, or depressing.Set in the lovely Tuscany province, Lucy's father sends her to spend time with friends of her mother and pose for an artist. Several of the characters are transparent, and easily <more>
understood, others are far more complex. Like life not all the answers are give, but the film rewards the viewer on multiple levels.Enjoy watching the secondary characters grow in their own ways as well.I hope this helps you.
A master work by a master director. Excellent! (by i-got-away)
I am a Bertolucci fan, and this film is one of the reasons why. I watch it again and again and never get tired of it. Don't be fooled by the 'losing virginity' theme; this film is about life, and death, and everything that happens in between. It's about what you seek and what you're willing to give up to get it.One of the best things about this film is that every character has a story, and an arc in the film, most of which is given by just one or two lines or shots in the film. For example, near the end of the film, Sinead Cusack's character slumps at the table after <more>
having taken an old friend to the hospital, probably for the last time. She says she misses England "and rain, and milk that goes off", and says that she's tired of looking after people. Then everyone starts coming in and asking about dinner, and she just gets up and opens the fridge. In less than a minute, we see into her life and character in a way that most films would take at least an act to explore. We even learn a lot about Lucy's mother Lucy is played by a young Liv Tyler , even though she has died before the beginning of the film and never appears in it except in a photograph also of Tyler .There is not a flaw in any of the performances. Never do we feel that these are people acting. They just feel like people, interacting, and we always have a feeling of their life leading up to the moments we see them, and they are interesting lives.The location itself is one of the characters, and it is beautifully shot, the colours saturated and rich. It feels like you can touch the stones, smell the air, feel the grass and flagstones beneath your bare feet. If you don't want to go to Tuscany after seeing this film, you are ill or on the wrong medication. The beauty that is being stolen, or that people want to steal, is not just the beauty of the young virgin on the hill, it is the beauty of life, of living, of learning, of looking back and finally giving it all up, knowing it cannot be stolen. I know that some people criticize Bertolucci for his aesthetic, for bringing the beauty out of every moment, even the horrible ones, and I say to those people that they live the life they choose.Finally, there is the soundtrack, which runs from alt-pop to classical to everything in between and works perfectly. It illuminates Lucy's internal reality and is true to the music that a girl of her age would have been listening to at that time, and it also helps set the scene and smooth transitions between scenes.This is a master work by a master director, and one of my favourite films of all time.
I just saw this for the first time a little while ago and I thought it was one of the most beautiful films I have seen in a long time. It captures all the aspects of life, the anger, elation, pain, and just being. Liv Tyler was perfect for this movie because she can reach into her soul and bring out this perfect, virginal girl. As I watched the first time, I did not pick up on everything, but the second time around, it was all rising action, leading to the end that amazed me in the innocence and beauty portrayed in the love between two people. I found myself wishing that I was that beautiful <more>
girl on a trip to Italy, figuring out my past and controlling my sexuality. I view this film as a work of art because of its perfect portrayal of love and the way it can sneak up behind us when it is standing right in front of us.
1st watched 10/15/2005, 9 out of 10 Dir-Bernardo Bertolucci : Marvelous coming-of-age story about a young woman named Lucy played by Liv Tyler , returning to a place where her deceased mother spent a lot of time and rejuvenates some of the relationships she had four years prior while her mother was still alive. Bernardo Bertolucci again masterfully weaves this story in his usual poetically-visual style of directing. You feel like he's given everything he has and more to tell this story. It's told mainly from the main character's point of view, which is amazing in itself, but is <more>
possibly why the screenplay was written by a woman, Susan Minot. The story begins as Lucy arrives at her destination with a diary of her late mother's in hand. She reads thru this as a means to get to know her mother better we get the feeling that she was not as close to her as she would have liked to be . The trip is also a way to explore this by getting to know her from the people who were close to her. The trip was the gift from her father, whom she has never met, and thus begins another search for her. Her virginity is also a hot topic, but mostly from those around her. She had only kissed a boy five years prior when she visited before and is still infatuated with him and hopes he will be the one if you know what I mean . Since her mother's death she has closed herself up in many ways, and this has been one of them although she denies this . Every character in this story is full of life in one way or another and seems to know their place in it except Lucy. And that's basically what this story is about. Her self discovery and her finding her place in the history of her family. The Italian landscape provides breathtaking views that Bertolucci takes great advantage of, the modern music blended with classical makes for an awesome soundtrack, and of course the storytelling plays it's way to a wonderful ending that leaves you again wanting to know these people more and more. This is where Bertolucci succeeds so well. His characters are rich and full of stories like real people who are merely here to enjoy their life. What a concept and what a film from a masterful director!!
encapsulates peer pressure to engage in sexual intercourse (by babzmasz2002)
Everybody acts like it's "the-end-of-the-world" if you don't experience sex. Way not true-at least in the real world. We are seeing an emergence of virtue! Yes, v-i-r-g-i-n-i-t-y. Monk-like in nature! It's probably the most natural state-yet, we reject it in lieu of peer pressure- particularly the baby boomer's. Now, we understand, present company included, imagination is everything, and reality is nothing-well, next to nothing...nothing springs into something! That's our legacy, the cycle of life. I relate to the movie on many dimensions. In Tuscany, Italy, <more>
there are many secrets...just like there are where ever you go...
Liv Tyler needs more credit for this film (by amberberglund)
I didn't see this film when it first came out, because I kept reading these terrible reviews. One review has stuck with me, for 12 years. "Liv Tyler is the perfect piece of cardboard." I don't remember who said that, but that line kept me from seeing this film. This film was offered for free on cable on-demand, and since then, I've watched several times. Probably about 20 times. Why do I keep watching it? Because details are revealed each and ever time I see it. Things that I didn't notice before. Liv Tyler gives a very subtle and masterful performance in this film. <more>
Her character is experiencing things internally, and it would be inappropriate for her to be wildly expressive. Her character is reacting to her surroundings, but her reactions fall under the radar of normal viewing. The opening scene is shot on what looks like digital video by a man on the plane from America to Italy. I didn't notice at first, but, there is a close-up of this man's wrist, wearing a leather bracelet. Fast forward several scenes and this close up of this same bracelet appears on the wrist of this character "Carlo Liska"...and this leads me to believe that the man on the plane was this character "Carlo." But, back to Liv Tyler's character, "Lucy"...this character is a virgin, but that doesn't make her unsophisticated. She speaks Italian, smokes marijuana, and really forward-thinking for 1996 fearlessly allows a man - a character of a writer probably dying from AIDS played by Jeremy Irons, to dress an open, bleeding wound on her knee. AIDS isn't mentioned, but it is implied. Making the subject of sex circa 1996 that much more shocking. This is a dangerous activity, according to the zeitgeist of the 1990s. Life and death. I like to have this film just playing in the background, because the music is pleasant, and it's pretty much like being on vacation in Tuscany. It isn't a demanding film. It doesn't scream at you. It meanders from beautiful shot to beautiful shot, and having seen it 20 times already, I can leave the room and come back and it's still like a vacation in Tuscany. Naked, beautiful people on the surface, but there's more there if you choose to look.
While this is not my favorite Bertolucci film, Stealing Beauty left me inspired and contented. Bertolucci's brush strokes are wide, yet meticulously placed, leading us down a sensual and beautiful path of discovery. He packs a lot of plot into a week of story and two hours of film, but it is believable because many extraordinary things can happen in a short time frame when one travels abroad. Liv Tyler did well, reminding me of my teenage years, yearning yet still undecided. This movie has one of the best sexy! loss of virginity scenes in recent memory.
Still special and interesting (by mrbadguy-1)
I saw this movie quite a while ago and I remember thinking that Liv Tyler's character reminded me of a very good friend of mine!!! I always enjoyed Bertolucci's movies mainly because he showed a dangerous amount of freedom combined with strange tempers and he had his way of understanding teen-agers I enjoyed "The Dreamers" although the end is a little "out of fashion" . The cast for "Stealing Beauty" is very inspired and gives you the feeling of watching an "old tuscan story". The rebel and charming Liv Tyler begins to understand life and <more>
discovers love in the strange atmosphere of her relatives. The movie doesn't claim to be a masterpiece but still Bertolucci's touch will make you notice certain memorable details! If you get the chance, see the movie, it will bring back old pleasant memories...
Simple but beautiful film from Bertolucci (by mario_c)
Lucy played by Liv Tyler is a 19 American girl which travels to Italy after her mother die. She's coming back to a farmhouse where her mother lived once. It's not the first time she's going there, she had been there four years earlier, so she knows almost everyone in the house. She's young, she's beautiful, she's very attractive, but she's also very innocent and virgin. Every man in the house, from the older to younger, feel her presence and enjoy it, on one or another way, because she's everything but invisible. Her presence is really noticed, but <more>
she's not provocative at all. In fact she's very calm and shy. The entire plot is about her, her feelings, people which surround her, and the way she's growing as a woman. It's all that together what makes this movie so beautiful and intimate, because it's a portrait of the fears and hopes, disillusions and happiness, joy and anger of a teenage girl which is having some "feelings" for the very first time.I enjoyed the story but also the settings used, because it's all so peaceful and calm, it's all so quiet in that lost place somewhere in Italy The cinematography is beautiful and has this "special touch" European cinema use to have, with those little details which turn the movie so truthful and realistic. I like it a lot! About the acting I must say I enjoyed especially two characters and the respective actors who played them. They were the character "Lucy", played by Liv Taylor and "Alex", played by Jeremy Irons. It's especially those two characters which make this story so beautiful to me.To sum up, it's a simple but wonderful movie and another excellent work by Bernardo Bertolucci.