Stealing Beauty

BERNARDO BERTOLUCCI

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  Italy/France/United Kingdom, 1996.  Fiction Films, France 2 Cinéma, Jeremy Thomas Productions, , Union Générale Cinématographique.  Story by Bernardo Bertolucci, Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Cannes Film Festival 1996.  

plays a young woman travelling to the Italian countryside to unlock some of the mysteries she feels are left unexplained by her late mother’s journals. She meets a colourful assortment of individuals, the best of them played by  (in his finest performance since Reversal Of Fortune) as an ailing neighbour who befriends the girl, and his real-life wife  as one of their group of friends. Friends and lovers seduce her one way or the other until she finally feels she is ready to give up her (gasp) virginity and become a woman. It’s not as Harlequin-esque as it sounds, it’s actually quite delicate and charming, and photographed so beautifully. Features an early performance by .

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