Stealing Beauty

20th Century Fox Released 1996


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Movie Summary

Bernardo Bertolucci
Stealing Beauty is a drama film directed by Academy-Award winning Italian filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci, starring Liv Tyler, Rachel Weisz, Jeremy Irons, and Sinaed Cusack. Nineteen-year-old American Lucy Harmon (Tyler) is returning to the beautiful Tuscan countryside estate of a family friend in the hope to change her life after the recent suicide of her poet mother. Amongst the poems and papers of her late mother, Lucy discovers that her real father had been a resident of the villa at the time of her conception. Armed with the enigmatic poems left over in her mother's diary to guide her as clues, Lucy tries to determine who of her mother's old companions is her father. Was it an Italian war correspondent or maybe the dying English playwright? As she tries to unravel that mystery, Lucy has another quest: to lose her virginity, which seemingly attracts the interest of every bored resident in the villa. Naively romantic, Lucy has a boy in mind for the deed but sometimes the fleetness of a long time crush does not quite hold up in adulthood. Bertolucci captures the beauty of the lush Italian landscape with just as much ease as he does with the journey of a girl searching for her father and the daydream of youth.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Variety David Rooney

    A model of poise and restraint, the film flows in a way that is deliberately undramatic, but made no less involving by the dreamy gentleness of its approach.

  • 70

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    This film maker's supremely tactile, sensual style and his taste for exoticism are captivatingly on display in Stealing Beauty, even if the film's philosophizing sometimes lacks th...

  • 60

    Los Angeles Times Jack Mathews

    The script (written by Susan Minot from a story by Bertolucci) suffers from the same tired blood as his characters, and his direction is often ponderously self-conscious.

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Love & Romance, Family Dramas, Coming of Age