Painted lady, beneath the lights, in paradise, next to the vineyard  in “Stealing Beaty” by Bertolucci

Enigmatic poems, beautiful landscapes, renaissance architecture, international co-production between France, Italy, and the United Kingdom, and Liv Tyler’s first leading film role. Stealing Beauty is a drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, released in 1996. Translated from Italian, the title of this film sounds different — “I dance by myself.” The film was presented with six nominations in the competition program of the Cannes Film Festival in 1996, claiming, among others, to receive the Palme d’Or. This mentionable piece of European cinema through a simple story and static action presents a purity of beauty and seduction of life at the same time.




The film takes place in the summer of 1995,  in Tuscany, in an Italian villa of an English artist located in the suburbs of Siena. A young 19-year-old American woman named Lucy (Liv Tyler) has already been here once, a few years ago, and now she is returning to this house after the death of her mother, who was a friend of Jan and Diana, who have been living in Italy for several decades. Alex (played by Jeremy Irons), a writer who is seriously ill, lives in the room next to Lucy. These are his last days of life and the presence of a beautiful young woman next to him makes him happy. Reading the diaries of her late mother, Lucy learns that her American father is not her real father. She will try to solve the mystery of her birth and find out who is her father here in Tuscany. There also, Lucy meets a boy named Niccolo, who gave her the first kiss of her life four years ago. All these years she had been receiving his romantic letters. But were all of those love epistolary writings his? 



Alluring landscapes, the soft setting sun and the beauty of the young heroine – Lucy who finds herself in a kind of closed world where everyone indulges in pleasure, conversations on forbidden topics, sculptures and paintings, and pleasant musical accompaniment. All this artistic and profound contribution to the disclosure of femininity. This movie is an unusual experience of colourful melodrama. It has its own specific atmosphere. This is the summer of first love. This is the purity of youth, brilliantly visually written. The colours play amazingly – the picture is mesmerizing. 


Summer flowers, grown women, a magical Mediterranean climate, old money of life that imitates art, stealing hearts and promising sunsets made this film very special and unique with the question of love and answers for beauty in life. Bertolucci is just a genius sometimes with his parallels. Even more answers to the central question of the film “What is beauty?” enter the mind. Or maybe Beauty is Bertolucci’s film by itself?

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