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Stealing Beauty

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Stealing Beauty

Starring: Liv Tyler, Sinead Cusack
Director: Bernado Bertolucci
Rated: R
RunTime: 119 Minutes
Release Date: June 1996
Genres: Drama, Romance

*Also starring: Jeremy Irons, Donal McCann, Jean Marais, Rachel Weisz, D.W. Moffett, Stefania Sandrelli, Carlo Cecchi, Roberto Zibetti, Joseph Fiennes

Review by Pedro Sena
3 stars out of 4

This may not be as strong a film by Bernardo Bertolucci as many other in his long and illustrious career. But it does have a few touches of beauty in it that make this film stand out, although, compared to many of his other films, the themes here seem trivial, and not as important, even if the young girl doesn't think so.

It's not much of a story, other than a relative on vacation in Italy, ends up spending time with a group of people whose attitudes vary and their life style is very different from the American style. The young girl befriends a older man whose life is on the decline, with whom she can at least have a few conversations, although what he might want out of her is not what he is going to get. All in all a rather lecherous group of people in a society that is rather free in sexual mores, but at the same time a bit on the scavenger side of things to get that freedom.

It's almost like that freedom is there as long as the individuals can get what they want, when they want and for their own reasons.

Unlike many other films by Bernardo, the main beauty here is really the countryside, with its very clear oranges and greens all over them. The rest appears somber, and not as lively as nature, certainly not as pretty. The young girl does eventually come of age, but not really the way she expected, although she seemed to have fun and made a new friend. In the older group, it seems that sex is the excuse to make friends. The same thing happened here with the younger ones, although we may be more forgiving since they are young.

Not a great film, by any means, but it does have its own little beauty. If you have the patience to stay through it, at times a very talky film, this is not bad. It's just not as good, as some of the stronger stuff that Bernardo has done in the past. Compared to those films this would seem to be an earlier film, rather than a later film.

Copyright 1996 Pedro Sena

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