Stealing Beauty

Watch Stealing Beauty

"The most beautiful place to be is in love."
  • R
  • 1996
  • 1 hr 53 min
  • 6.5  (30,182)
  • 60

Stealing Beauty is a 1996 drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, starring Liv Tyler, Jeremy Irons and Carlo Cecchi. The movie centers around the character of Lucy Harmon, a nineteen-year-old girl who travels to Italy to stay with a group of her mother's artist friends following her mother's suicide. Upon her arrival in the picturesque Tuscan countryside, Lucy begins a journey of self-discovery and sexual awakening.

The film begins with Lucy (Liv Tyler) on a train traveling through the Italian countryside, listening to music and reading a book. She arrives at a villa owned by her mother's old friend, writer Ian Grayson (Jeremy Irons), who has invited her to stay for the summer. Lucy is greeted by a group of artists and writers and their families, who are all staying at the villa. Lucy's mother was an artist who had lived and worked with this group years before, and Lucy hopes to discover more about her mother and the circumstances of her death.

As Lucy spends time with the group, she becomes the object of desire for several of the men, including Alex (played by Joseph Fiennes), a local boy who Lucy has a history with, and Osvaldo (played by Cecchi), a wise and gentle painter who quickly becomes one of Lucy's confidants. Lucy discovers that her mother was loved by many of these people, and begins to learn more about her mother and her own identity through their interactions.

Throughout the movie, Lucy forms bonds with the members of the group, finding comfort and solace in their company. The film is a meditation on beauty, art, and sexuality, with many of the characters exploring their own desires and relationships. Lucy develops a romantic relationship with Alex that is complicated by his inability to commit, and also falls in love with another man, Niccolò (played by French actor Jean Marais in his final role before his death). Lucy's relationships with both men allow her to explore her feelings and understand herself better.

The lush, sun-drenched Italian countryside serves as a backdrop for the story, with the villa and its surrounding landscapes providing a picturesque setting for the characters' exploration of themselves and each other. There is also a strong sense of nostalgia and longing in the film, with many of the characters reflecting on the past and the beauty that it held, as well as mourning the loss of loved ones.

One of the main themes of the film is the intersection of art and life, and how the two influence and inspire each other. Many of the characters are artists or writers, and their work is showcased throughout the film. Lucy's mother was a poet, and her words are read aloud and contemplated by several characters throughout the movie. Bertolucci also explores the idea of art as something that can be stolen, with many of the characters struggling to find their own creative voice in a world that can be cruel to artists.

Stealing Beauty is a beautifully shot film, with Bertolucci and his cinematographer, Darius Khondji, creating a dreamlike atmosphere that enhances the film's themes of beauty and desire. The movie is also notable for its use of music, featuring an eclectic soundtrack that includes songs by the Rolling Stones, Portishead, and Luscious Jackson, among others. The music, like the scenery, adds to the movie's nostalgic, dreamlike feel.

Overall, Stealing Beauty is a captivating and sensual film that explores the complexities of relationships, identity, and art. It boasts a talented cast, breathtaking scenery, and a rich soundtrack that make the viewer feel transported to the Italian countryside. Bertolucci's direction is masterful, balancing the film's many themes and characters with skill and nuance. Stealing Beauty is a movie that lingers in the mind long after it has ended, a testament to its power and beauty.

Stealing Beauty is a 1996 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 53 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5 and a MetaScore of 60.

Stealing Beauty
Where to Watch Stealing Beauty
Stealing Beauty is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Stealing Beauty for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 53 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.5  (30,182)
  • Metascore