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Stealing Beauty (1996)

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After her mother commits suicide, a young woman travels to Italy in search of love, truth and a deeper connection with herself.

Writers:

Bernardo Bertolucci (story), Susan Minot
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2,298 ( 1,923)
3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Carlo Cecchi Carlo Cecchi ... Carlo Lisca
Sinéad Cusack ... Diana (as Sinead Cusack)
Joseph Fiennes ... Christopher
Jason Flemyng ... Gregory
Anna Maria Gherardi Anna Maria Gherardi ... Chiarella Donati
Jeremy Irons ... Alex
Jean Marais ... M. Guillaume
Donal McCann ... Ian
D.W. Moffett ... Richard
Ignazio Oliva Ignazio Oliva ... Osvaldo Donati
Stefania Sandrelli ... Noemi
Francesco Siciliano ... Michele Lisca
Mary Jo Sorgani Mary Jo Sorgani ... Maria
Leonardo Treviglio Leonardo Treviglio ... Lieutenant
Liv Tyler ... Lucy Harmon
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Storyline

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 acquaintance with Nicolo Donati, a young boy with whom she fell in love on her last visit four years ago. She also is trying to solve the riddle left in a diary written by her dead mother, Sara. Written by Kale Whorton <nikko11@mind.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most beautiful place to be is in love.

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, nudity, some drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France | UK

Language:

English | French | German | Spanish | Italian

Release Date:

14 June 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dancing by Myself See more »

Filming Locations:

Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$103,028, 16 June 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,573,330, 15 September 1996
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is not just a romantic drama, it also a mystery. Lucy (Liv Tyler) sets out to solve a mystery from an entry in her deceased mother's diary about the man whom slept with Lucy's mother at the villa 20 years earlier which led to Lucy's conception and Lucy sets out to uncover the identity of her biological father. See more »

Goofs

When Lucy enters the Tuscan Villa for the first time you see a swallow (Hirundo rustica) flying combined with the screeching call of the swift (Apus apus). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lucy: What are you doing?
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, there is a montage of Lucy (Liv Tyler) being recorded on a video camera during her travel to Italy by an unknown man. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Adam and Joe Show: Episode #1.4 (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Anne Mae
Performed by John Lee Hooker
Written by John Lee Hooker
Courtesy of Pointblank/Virgin Records America, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Summer in Tuscany
27 July 2012 | by G_a_l_i_n_aSee all my reviews

I loved Bernardo Bertolucci's movie "Stealing Beauty" (1996) when I saw it for the first time almost 15 years ago, and I remember how surprised I was to rather mixed and lukewarm reactions of some famous and respectable critics towards it. Many of them accused Stealing Beauty in what they called "apparent self-indulgence, and lack of character development and drama." I don't care about self-indulgence if it helps to create as beautiful and pleasing to all senses film as Stealing Beauty. And if the critics did not feel sweet gentle sadness from encountering the stealing beauty that one can't hold on to forever, I feel sorry for them.

I re-watched the film recently and I loved it even more than first time. It has got some healing quality to it, it glows under Tuscany sun. It is filled with warmth, longing and bitter-sweetness.

This must be one of my favorite movies about coming of age, about unforgettable moment in time that changes life of a young person forever and touches lives of all people around her. In the center of the film, there is Lucy, a 19 years old American girl, who came to Italy to spend the summer with the group of artists - friends of her mother while trying to come to terms with her mother's recent suicide and the secrets that she took with her. Lucy will learn more about people she thought she knew well and about herself. She will change forever during the unforgettable summer in Tuscany.

Stealing Beauty is a European film in the best sense of the word. Leisurely paced, gorgeously shot, it looks in the faces of characters, in the beauty surrounding them, with interest and affection. This is a lovely film that celebrates life and beauty of youth, nature and Italy, Art and power of memory. This film reminds me another favorite of mine, "Enchanting April" (1992). Perhaps, because both movies have the same atmosphere, the similar scenery, the sun of Tuscany, and their effect on characters, and both are so delightfully and unabashedly romantic.

Liv Tyler in her first big role lit the screen with her beauty and, charming awkwardness. She was very convincing as the girl hesitating to step over the border between adolescence and maturity. Lyv Tyler obviously was not an experienced actress at 19 but I don't think it was required of her. Lucy was natural and charming, innocent and curious, she was the center of the film, and her innocence, wholesomeness, insecurity and seriousness touched lives of everyone she spent that summer in Tuscany with. Watching Tyler simply move on screen is a cinematic pleasure. One second, the movements of her endless legs and arms are graceful and fluid, next - she is all angular impetuosity. She knew the effect of her luminous beauty on everyone but she was not quite sure how to deal with it.

Besides Liv Tyler in the performance that made her a star, Jeremy Irons is also memorable as Alex Parrish. "Stealing Beauty" was the last feature film of the multi- talented, famous and beloved French actor, Jean Marais, mostly known for his collaboration with Jean Cocteau, Lucino Visconti and for many excellent film and stage performances.


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