THE FIRST BEAUTIFUL THING
- THE FIRST BEAUTIFUL THING
- (LA PRIMA COSA BELLA)
- 2010, Paolo Virzi, Italy, 122 min.
- With Valerio Mastandrea, Stefania Sandrelli
Italy’s 2010 Oscar submission, THE FIRST BEAUTIFUL THING is a funny and moving tribute to a remarkable if exasperating mother (and to the remarkable actress, Stefania Sandrelli of DIVORCE--ITALIAN STYLE and THE CONFORMIST, who plays her in the film’s present-day scenes). Growing up, Bruno was both fascinated and embarrassed by his vivacious, promiscuous mother. In middle age, he is a failed poet and fitfully employed teacher, his pinched life a seeming rebuke to his mother’s reckless exuberance. She is now mortally ill, but still as uninhibited as ever. The film shuttles freely between flashbacks and the present, evoking a glorious if checkered past whose value Bruno must learn to recognize before it is too late. In Italian with English subtitles. Special advance screening courtesy of Palisades Tartan. 35mm. (MR)