Forgotten Films



Stealing Beauty (1996)

Bit tired tonight so I hope you'll forgive for posting this review from about twelve years ago. It was written in a letter to my pen friend Louise and I think it gets the measure of what I thought of the film:
"No complaints - see this film. It's one of those movies you can watch over and over, like you're visiting friends every so often. Liv Tyler is a babe (which I know is overtly sexist, but sue me) and as this incredible emotional intensity. There seems to be a few of these new actresses around at the moment - like Claire Danes, for example, who somehow have this ability to convince the viewer that they are feeling every word and experiencing what their characters are going through with every pore in their body, in a way that few actresses do. You know, the camera does not leave Liv for much of the movie, but you don't care, because she is a pleasure to watch. So even though there is little plot (the usual fish out of water story about awakening sexuality), the whole thing creates such pleasure. Oh and every shot could be printed and hung on a wall as art. (PS - doesn't Liv Tyler look scarcely like Alanis Morissette?!?)"
Um, no. But I do love how, in the middle of the drooling, I managed to write an accurate synopsis of the film in ten words. It's still a very underrated work, and the shot when Lucy reveals her breast and the surrounding group turn to look at her, is probably one of the best expressions of the moment when someone shifts into adulthood ever committed to celluloid.

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