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The First Beautiful Thing (Not Rated)

Italian with English subtitles

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Entering a cheesy beauty pageant in 1971 at a beach resort on a lark, effervescent knockout Anna (Micaela Ramazzotti, the director’s wife) effortlessly wins the title of “Summer Mama,” much to the anger of her jealous husband, while her young daughter and embarrassed son look on. 8-year-old Bruno, already a worrier, rightly fears his father’s anger at her victory, which splits up the family, leaving Anna to struggle to provide for her children. The film flashes forward 35 years. Bruno, now an unsuccessful high school teacher who is alienated from his mother, is dragged by his sister to the bedside of his terminally ill mom (now played by Stefania Sandrelli). Following a series of startling revelations, her children come to understand their ever-unpredictable mother, their unconventional upbringing and also themselves. This beautiful and touching comedic drama from acclaimed Italian writer/director Paolo Virzì (Caterina in the Big City) is filled with unforgettable and emotional true-to-life performances. Winner of David di Donatello Awards (Italy's Academy Awards) for Best Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Actor.