'Stealing Beauty' is a film I never thought I'd be asked to review. Granted the requests seem to run the gamit, but Bertolucci films are somewhat obscure for the most part. I haven't seen this in years and thought I'd give it a second look, but my memory is pretty clear of the plot and it's hard to forget one of his films easily.
The film is about Lucy, a young woman who travels to a Tuscany villa after her mother's recent suicide. The home is occupied by artists and the like who enjoy the beautiful landscape and seems like the perfect setting to get her portrait done, but she has other goals as well that she keeps secret. Lucy is trying to connect with a man she first kissed there years ago and has since corresponded with. Equally important she's there to solve the riddle of who her father might be.
As Lucy interacts with the often eccentric guests of the villa many seem to take a liking to her, especially a terminally ill playwrite who takes it upon himself to a mentor of sorts regarding her virginity. She goes throught he process of young adult hood with her mother's friends giving her unsolicited advice, but she takes it in stride and goes through a journey of self discovery if you will.
'Stealing Beauty' is not Bertolucci's best work, but that's not a bad thing considering his library of films. The setting is lush and goregous as you would expect even though the plot is not entirely strong. I was drawn to the characters, even the ones I didn't care for, and the acting complimented the good dialogue. There's many things to enjoy about Stealing Beauty even at it's weakest points and I would highly recommend this coming of age story whether you're a fan of Bertolucci or not.
Thanks to the private Kelli for submitting this. Wanna see a film reviewed by Wiwille? Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on Erik's Ramblings. Rules are posted here.
"Even a lesser Bertolucci is an event, and Stealing Beauty has its charms." - Jack Mathews