The First Beautiful Thing

The First Beautiful Thing (La prima cosa bella)

This affecting and nostalgic drama from Paolo Virzì, director of IFF08 Opening Night smash-hit Her Whole Life Ahead, tells the story of a misanthropic son returning to his hometown to see his mother.

In 1971, at a popular beach establishment near the Tuscan port of Livorno, yummy-mummy Anna (Micaela Ramazzotti) is roped into a beauty contest which she easily wins. Her jealous husband, Mario (Sergio Albelli), is enraged by the attention from assorted wolf-whistlers, while 8-year-old son Bruno (Giacomo Bibbiani), is horrified by the spectacle of it all. His younger sister, Valeria (Giulia Burgalassi), is the only one enjoying the scene. Jump to the present, when Bruno (Valerio Mastandrea) gets an urgent visit from Valeria (Claudia Pandolfi) telling him their mother (Stefania Sandrelli) is sick. Bruno tries to wriggle out of going back to Livorno but finally agrees, the trip triggering bittersweet memories.

Beautifully shot by Nicola Pecorini (The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus), the 1971 scenes are particularly evocative. THE FIRST BEAUTIFUL THING won Best Actor (Mastandrea), Best Actress (Ramazzotti), Best screenplay and was nominated for Best Italian Film and Best Director at the 2010 David di Donatello (Italian Academy) Awards.

Not screening in Perth.

Director: Paolo Virzì
Italy | 2010 | 122' | 35mm and e-cinema
Cast: Valerio Mastandrea, Micaela Ramazzotti, Stefania Sandrelli

Oscar candidate for the
2011 Academy Awards

Best Actor • Best Actress
Best Screenplay
David Di Donatello 2010