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First Love (2004)
"Primo amore" (original title)

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Vittorio is looking for a woman who matches his ideal. Through a classified ad he meets Sonia, a sweet, pleasant, intelligent girl. However, she weighs 125 pounds -- which according to ... See full summary »



(book), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview:
Vitaliano Trevisan ...
Michela Cescon ...
Elvezia Allari ...
Paolo Capoduro ...
Roberto Comacchio ...
Sonia's Brother
Paolo Cumerlato ...
Claudio Manuzzato ...
Marco Manzardo ...
Antonella Mazzuccato ...
Gianluca Moretto ...
Alberto Re ...
Pierpaolo Speggiorin ...
Real Estate Agent
Antonio Viero ...
Deni Viero ...
Mario's Son


Vittorio is looking for a woman who matches his ideal. Through a classified ad he meets Sonia, a sweet, pleasant, intelligent girl. However, she weighs 125 pounds -- which according to Vittorio is way too much. A goldsmith by trade, Vittorio is obsessed with the desire to shape Sonia's body and mind as does a fire with gold. Almost imperceptibly Sonia becomes a passive participant and the relationship grows into a reciprocal masochistic game. When the two lovers isolate themselves in a country house in the Veneto hills, they dangerously lose touch with reality and the rest of the world. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 February 2004 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

First Love  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Solo piano
Written and Performed by Banda Osiris
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User Reviews

See this movie if you want to stop dieting forever!
13 May 2005 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

Italian director Matteo Garrone ("The Embalmer") has quickly established himself as a connoisseur of dark dramas that are almost as distressing to watch as they are interesting. However, this dark romance features an amazing performance by Michela Cescon as "Sonia' who (not unlike Christian Bale in "The Machinist") is forced to lose a great deal of body weight during the course of the film\ The symbolic implications of this story are known all-too-well by women around the world who diet, diet, diet to please the men they love. Not to mention the fact that all of the media outlets continually express the idea that 'thin is in'. But how does one know when they are too thin, and when their own self-preservation is at stake.

The problem for Sonia is that Vittorio (Vitaliano Trevisan), the man she is smitten with, has asked her to commit to a program of extreme weight loss so that she will conform to his idea of 'purity'. As a goldsmith it is his profession to burn away excess metal in order to yield gold in pure quantities. But it's his obsessiveness with all things being thin (and pure) that eventually causes him to lose his business and quite a bit of his sanity.

Supposedly this story is based on an actual incident before it was novelized and now filmed. And I have to say that if I hadn't heard it was based on a real case I'd never have believed a woman would put up with such obvious abuse, but then again, women viewers may find more in common with Sonia and that identification could yield a more welcome response to this dark drama.

If any parent thinks their female teen may be falling into the trap of thinking thin all the time along with the possibility of contracting an eating disorder then this film could be the cure for that ideation.

One final note: Sonia's body is shown with full-frontal female nudity, first as an art class model and later as she examines the effects of her weight loss. Parents should take this into consideration or view the film first and then bring the teens. Italian films are always better the second time around anyway (due to the speed subtitling).

Your mileage may vary on this one, but definitely don't go to see this one on an empty stomach or you'll be ravenous by the time you leave the theater - order a large popcorn on the way in (extra butter) - lol!

7 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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