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Stealing Beauty back to product details

A truly exceptional film
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written by mkaliher2 February 20, 2011 - 2:32 AM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Why this film has received such a low rating on GC is beyond me. It has to be one of the best films I've ever seen -- and certainly represents twenty-first century storytelling at its very best. I've seen it dozens of times, and it never fails to move me.

Jeremy Irons's performance as Alex, an old family friend who is savoring his last days in their artists' enclave in Tuscany, and his interaction with Liv Tyler's character, Lucy, a young woman distressed by love (or fantasies of love) and yearning, is quite remarkable. They both deliver the best performances I've seen either of them give, and it's due to the superb direction of Bernardo Bertolucci.

I know we Americans like to think directors like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are accomplished. But they're mere hacks in comparison with Bertolucci. If you don't believe me, watch this film and truly listen to the narrative. It's amazing.

Toward the end of the film, Lucy looks out her apartment window and has a revelation when she finally notices a statue of a Madonna and child. She immediately goes to the sculptor Ian's studio with her newly-discovered intuition. After some equivocation on the subtext of Lucy's paternity, Ian agrees to let Lucy have a look at his statue of her, saying, "If I show it to you now, it must be our secret. . . You can keep a secret, can't you?" And Lucy responds, "Yes. I learned from a master."

This line, and many others equally powerful, are what separates master storytellers like Bertolucci and his co-writer Susan Minot from others. A propagandist can make a lap dog cry; a storyteller invites the viewer to experience what the protagonists are feeling. There is a difference.

Beautiful Piece of Crap
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written by malvolio February 24, 2004 - 10:39 AM PST
2 out of 6 members found this review helpful
I can't recommend this film. It is beautifully posed and shot but nothing really happens. Great atmospherics but the staging is so obvious that it calls attention to itself. I sat there with my finger on the eject button hoping something would happen.
Liv Tyler is nice looking but inert you wonder if anybody would se her if she wasn't born into it. Jeremy Irons is the only reason that you would want to watch this.

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(Average 5.85)
92 Votes
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