La prima cosa bella
che ho avuto dalla vita
e il tuo sorriso giovane…
The first beautiful thing
that I’ve had in life
is your young smile…
Last night, the Italian club in San Jose treated us to a special filming of the 2010 hit movie La Prima Cosa Bella, directed and produced by Paolo Virzi. This film has not been released in the USA yet, therefore it was extra special to be able to see it. The movie was a candidate for an Academy Award for best foreign film, but sadly, didn’t make it to the finals. Irregardless, it was a great movie – both a poignant drama and a light comedy.
The story is of a young mother who, in 1971, won the contest for Miss Mamma Estate (Miss Summer Mother) at a beach resort. She had two beautiful children, but winning this contest brought out a jealous rage in her husband. The marriage began to fall apart, leading to an eventual separation and divorce. Through it all, Anna did everything to try to create a normal and happy life for her children. Despite tears and rejection in her adult life, she always put on a happy face for her children – leading them in song and carrying on with frivolity and fantasy.
The movie jumps between the past and the present where her children are all grown up and she is living her final days. Even though she is in her final moments of life, she still finds the joy of life and laughs and sings with them. Throughout the movie, the flashbacks help us to understand her life as well as the development of her children and why they have become the adults that they are. Her final words to her children moved me to tears when she said to them….”Abbiamo avuto una bella vita insieme, bimbi miei” (we’ve had a beautiful life together, my children).
The movie stars Micaela Ramazzotti as the young Anna and Stefania Sandrelli as the older Anna, Valerio Mastandrea as Bruno (her adult son), Claudia Pandolfi as Valeria (her adult daughter) among others. It won numerous awards and accolations, among them David di Donatello and Nastri d’argento.
When and if this movie becomes available in the USA, I can highly recommend it!