The First Beautiful Thing (2010) Poster

The First Beautiful Thing (2010)

  • Rate: 7.2/10 total 1,472 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama
  • Release Date: 15 January 2010 (Italy)
  • Runtime: 122 min
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The First Beautiful Thing (2010)


The First Beautiful Thing 2010tt1467273.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The First Beautiful Thing (2010)
  • Rate: 7.2/10 total 1,472 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama
  • Release Date: 15 January 2010 (Italy)
  • Runtime: 122 min
  • Filming Location: Livorno, Tuscany, Italy
  • Gross: €6,611,692(Italy)(4 August 2010)
  • Director: Paolo Virzì
  • Stars: Valerio Mastandrea, Micaela Ramazzotti and Stefania Sandrelli
  • Original Music By: Carlo Virzì   
  • Soundtrack: La prima cosa bella
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Contest | Beauty | Title From Song | 1970s | The Family

Writing Credits By:

  • Paolo Virzì (story and screenplay) and
  • Francesco Bruni (story and screenplay) and
  • Francesco Piccolo (story and screenplay)

Known Trivia

  • Kim Rossi Stuart was originally cast as Bruno. He was subsequently replaced by Valerio Mastandrea, who ended up winning a David Di Donatello for his role.
  • Italy’s official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category for the 83rd Academy Awards.

Plot: A misanthropic professor returns to his hometown to assist his dying mother. |  »

Story: A misanthropic professor returns to his hometown to assist his dying mother.


Synopsis: Cosa vuol dire avere una mamma bellissima, vitale, frivola, imbarazzante? E il cruccio che ha accompagnato tutta la vita di Bruno, primogenito di Anna, fin da quando aveva otto anni. Tutto comincia nellestate del 1971, quando assistendo alla tradizionale elezione delle Miss dello stabilimento balneare piu popolare di Livorno, Anna viene inaspettatamente chiamata sul palco ed incoronata la mamma piu bella. Da allora, nella famiglia Michelucci, arriva lo scompiglio e per Anna, per Bruno e per la sorella Valeria, inizia unavventura che si concludera solo ai giorni nostri, con uninattesa struggente riconciliazione.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Ferdinando Bonifazi known as line producer
  • Marco Cohen known as producer
  • Fabrizio Donvito known as producer
  • Lorenzo Gangarossa known as assistant producer
  • Benedetto Habib known as producer
  • Gabriele Muccino known as producer
  • Carlo Virzì known as producer
  • Paolo Virzì known as producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Valerio Mastandrea known as Bruno Michelucci – 2009
  • Micaela Ramazzotti known as Anna Nigiotti in Michelucci – 1971-1981
  • Stefania Sandrelli known as Anna Nigiotti in Michelucci – 2009
  • Claudia Pandolfi known as Valeria Michelucci – 2009
  • Sergio Albelli known as Mario Michelucci
  • Marco Messeri known as Il Nesi
  • Fabrizia Sacchi known as Sandra
  • Aurora Frasca known as Valeria Michelucci – Bambina
  • Giacomo Bibbiani known as Bruno Michelucci – Bambino
  • Giulia Burgalassi known as Valeria Michelucci – 1981
  • Francesco Rapalino known as Bruno Michelucci – 1981
  • Isabella Cecchi known as Zia Leda Nigiotti
  • Emanuele Barresi known as Roberto Lenzi
  • Dario Ballantini known as Avvocato Cenerini
  • Paolo Ruffini known as Cristiano Cenerini
  • Fabrizio Brandi known as Giancarlo – 2009
  • Jacopo Dini known as Giancarlo – 1981
  • Michele Crestacci known as Luciano Vallesi
  • Roberto Rondelli known as Armando Mansani (as Bobo Rondelli)
  • Alessio Colombini known as Anselmo Viani
  • Paolo Giommarelli known as Conte Augusto Paoletti
  • Alessia Innocenti known as Contessa Paoletti
  • Giorgio Algranti known as Vicesindaco
  • Claudio Marmugi known as Presentatore 'Miss Pancaldi 1971'
  • Alessandra Cantini known as Elena Talini – 1981
  • Edoardo Ferrari known as Andrea Baldacci – 1981
  • Domenico Cirianni known as Andrea Baldacci – 2009
  • Elena Bernardini known as Giovane Farmacista
  • Isabelle Adriani known as Luciana Cenerini
  • Marcellina Ruocco known as Giuliana Cenerini – 2009
  • Marco Risi known as Dino Risi
  • Raffaele Vannoli known as Fotografo di Scena (as Lele Vannoli)
  • Diego Salvadori known as Aldo
  • Alessio Silipo known as Sergio
  • Lucilla Serchi known as Professoressa
  • Giovanni Rindi known as Marcello Mastroianni
  • Franca Antongiovanni known as Dirimpettaia
  • Ada Antongiovanni known as Dirimpettaia
  • Maria Pia Aricó known as Chiara
  • Daniela Carrozzi known as Cuoca
  • Toto Barbato known as Traslocatore
  • Sara Mannucci known as Infermiera



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Massimo Gattabrusi known as hair designer
  • Paola Gattabrusi known as key makeup artist
  • Daniela Tartari known as hair stylist

Art Department:

  • Tommaso Dubla known as head painter
  • Erminio Lauri known as set finishing supervisor




Production Companies:

  • Motorino Amaranto
  • Medusa Film
  • Indiana Production Company
  • Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali (MiBAC) (support)

Other Companies:

  • M&R Europe Mina Rotelli Lanfranconi Avvocati Associati  legal advisor


  • CDI Films (2011) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • Cinéart (2011) (Belgium) (theatrical)
  • Cinéart (2011) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Medusa Distribuzione (2009) (Italy) (theatrical)
  • Palisades Tartan (2011) (USA) (theatrical) (subtitled)
  • Seven Films (2011) (Greece) (theatrical)
  • Wild Bunch Distribution (2011) (France) (TV)
  • Wild Bunch (2011) (Spain) (all media)



Other Stuff

Visual Effects by:
  • Andrea Baracca known as digital color timing
  • Niccolò Barbero known as digital compositor
  • Valentina Bologna known as visual effects
  • Gaia Bussolati known as visual effects
  • Stefano Camberini known as digital restoration artist
  • Roberto D'Ippolito known as digital compositor (as D'Ippolito Roberto)
  • Chiara Feriani known as visual effects
  • Stefano Leoni known as visual effects
  • Roberta Longo known as visual effects
  • Mauro Moretti known as visual effects
  • Gabriele Motta known as rotoscope artist
  • Alessandro Pantanella known as digital compositor
  • Alessandro Pantanella known as title designer
  • Gianni Silvestri known as visual effects
  • Andrea Zimbaro known as visual effects

Release Date:

  • Italy 15 January 2010
  • Turkey 3 June 2010
  • Germany 3 October 2010 (Hamburg Film Festival)
  • Brazil 6 October 2010 (Festival do Rio BR)
  • France 23 October 2010 (Montpellier International Festival of Mediterranean Film)
  • USA 7 January 2011 (Palm Springs Internation Film Festival)
  • USA 17 March 2011 (San Joaquin International Film Festival)
  • USA 20 March 2011 (European Union Film Festival)
  • USA 15 April 2011 (limited)
  • Japan 29 April 2011 (Festival del Cinema Italiano Tokyo)
  • Switzerland 2 June 2011 (German speaking region)
  • France 15 June 2011 (Cabourg Film Festival)
  • Greece 16 June 2011
  • France 29 June 2011
  • Sweden 1 July 2011
  • Spain 22 July 2011
  • Belgium 3 August 2011
  • Netherlands 19 August 2011 (Noorderzon Festival Groningen)
  • Netherlands 25 August 2011
  • Argentina 10 November 2011
  • Poland 9 March 2012



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , .


  1. Iwould from Italy
    30 Mar 2012, 1:37 am

    A beautiful and touching movie. The actors are really good – Pandolfiand Mastandrea deliver probably their best performance ever, while thecommon effort of Stefania Sandrelli and Micaela Rammazzotti depicts awonderful, unforgettable female lead character, that somehow accomplishthe not so easy task of being at the same time down-to-earth andlarger-than-life. The story is full of grief and pain, and thanks tothe overall great acting performance, those feelings seem so real thatthey will make you suffer (and cry). At the same time, anyway, thescript is full of funny moments that will make you laugh, and laughswill wash away the tears – you know, just like in the real life.Strongly recommended to anybody.

  2. stensson from Stockholm, Sweden
    30 Mar 2012, 1:37 am

    Most people agree that the Golden Age of Italian movies started withRosselini's "Rome-Open City" and ended about 15 years beforeMastroianni's death. What's the cause of that, we can't be sure of.

    This film about the drug depending teacher, who remembers his motherduring the last decade of that era and how she involuntarily destroyedthe lives of him and his sister. They really haven't begun yet. Hismother another example of the common Italian film theme "Too beautifulfor her own good".

    But that theme would have been done better in the hands of the goldenItalian directors and good acting really don't make that muchdifference here.

  3. tecnodata from Bhutan
    30 Mar 2012, 1:37 am

    Having just seen this movie I'd say that Virzì is seriously working onbecoming a major director. His technique is steadily evolving, hisstories becoming more and more complex yet intimate, digging in his ownyouth and background while finding his own voice and style. Not quiteFellini yet but he seems to have a penchant for rolling in wallowing,like the great master, in his own experiences, remembrances andfantasies. It's a great compliment to say no matter what confusion onemight find in the plot, one cannot really stop watching it. And like agood book, once finished watching, one feels like going back an lookingagain at some pages to better savor them. I don't know if this wasOscar material (too intimate, and a bit difficult to read for a generalaudience) but surely a movie to watch again after a few days, like agood book to leaf through now and again. This is what French moviedirectors have been trying to convey at their best. Kudos to Virzì.

  4. johno-21 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 1:37 am

    I recently saw this at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.This film picked up three prestigious Donatello Awards (Best Actress,Best Actor, Best Screenplay) in Italy and is that country's officialsubmission to the 83rd Academy Awards Best Foreign Film category. Thestory begins in the 1971 when Anna (Michella Ramazzotti), the beautifulwife of Mario (Sergio Albelli) wins a local Mrs. beauty pageant. Thejealous Mario eventually throws out Anna and their two children and sobegins their journey throughout this film that leads to the present daywhere the older Anna (Stefania Sandrelli) is dying and her daughterValeria (Claudia Pandolfi) coaxes her brother Bruno (ValerioMastanrea), now a professor who has a drug problem and has becomeestranged from his mother and sister, to pay his last respects whileAnna is still alive. Told in a series of flashbacks to the pastinterwoven very smartly with the present this is a clever film andstory with lots of wit and charm and a great cast. Also stars FabrizaSacchi as Sandra, Anna's estranged sister. Anna stole Sandra'sboyfriend Mario and when Mario and Anna split he returned to Sandra.There are lots of interesting subplots and a great supporting castincluding the young actors who play Bruno and Valeria in childhood andas teenagers. Paolo Virzi directs this film and his real-life wifeRamazzotti in a family friendly manner where violence and sex areimplied and not gratuitous. Nicely shot by veteran cameraman NicolaPecorini in his feature film debut as a cinematographer. Film veteransProduction Designer Tonino Zera, Set Decorator Donato Tieppo andCostume Designer Gabriella Pescucci have a clever collective eye fordetail in recreating the flashback scenes of the 1970's and blend themseamlessly with the look of present day with the help of Film EditorSimone Manetti. Writer/Director Virzi wrote the original story for filmwith the intention of making it seem like it was adapted from a novelhelp of co-screenwriters Francesco Bruni and Francesco Picolo. Virziand Ramazzotti were on hand at my screening for a Q&A. I would givethis an 8.5 out of 10 and recommend it.

  5. dpernice from Belgium
    30 Mar 2012, 1:37 am

    Having gone through most of Virzi's movies, I thought I was about tosee a nice and elegant comedy as previously seen in "My name is Tanino"or "Caterina goes to the city". Instead, the film is drama lacking anytype of perspective beyond the elementary and stereotyped Italianpostcard of a '70s middle-class family. Characters are so muchstereotyped that by the end of the movie I was feeling nosed. The plotis poor and predictable, and apart from the second husband, the otheractors are simply unfitted. I'm afraid that Virzi wanted to assert newdirecting ambitions, but that these have finished to be widelydisappointing. 3 for the effort, but subject, plot, direction andacting are a mess to a point that we ended up laughing at the scene ofthe mother's death.

  6. giampy-78 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 1:37 am

    Paolo Virzi, the last heir of Italian comedy recounts the resentment ofa child for a mother too generous, the ambitions of a great littlewoman in Italy in the sixties, the Italian province full of prejudices,the disease as an instrument of reconciliation. Between past andpresent, helped by a splendid cast including Stefania Sandrelli (museof Pietro Germi and Bernardo Bertolucci, Ettore Scola return in aleading role with all his talent as an actress animal). Paolo Virzisigns his best movie, a film that makes you cry and laugh at the sametime, a film that remains in the heart… Paolo Virzi, the last heir ofItalian comedy recounts the resentment of a child for a mother toogenerous, the ambitions of a great little woman in Italy in thesixties, the Italian province full of prejudices, the disease as aninstrument of reconciliation. Between past and present, helped by asplendid cast including Stefania Sandrelli (muse of Pietro Germi andBernardo Bertolucci, Ettore Scola return in a leading role with all histalent as an actress animal). Paolo Virzi signs his best movie, a filmthat makes you cry and laugh at the same time, a film that remains inthe heart…

  7. Matt Kies from Italy
    30 Mar 2012, 1:37 am

    I live near director's town of birth, the town where this movie is set,too, and I had, last summer, the great opportunity to see how this manworks, and I can say he's so nice and he tries to be calm, even whenthe actors (the younger ones, in particular) couldn't do that he wants.

    But I've noticed an other thing: production was very very rich (ineconomical terms), and maybe my judge could be partial, but when I'veseen this movie, I've seen a beautiful story, rich of messages andthemes (family, and the incapability to repudiate that; impossibilityto escape from past and nostalgia; against the drug, even if it couldseem the opposite etc..), so great job as regards the screenplay;acting is good, although many actors were very young, and "for firsttime on screen"; photograph is quite good (some scene have a big andquite bad using of color correction), and sounds are right.

    I think (joking) Virzì is happy whenever he reaches to export hisaccent in the world, and his own crusade includes, in my opinion, thejustice for the speaking, which before him it was the same for Florenceand Tuscany's Coast. In this way, actors like Mastrandrea and Pandolfishow their great capability to give a great interpretation even with adifferent accent (both come from Rome).

    But the worst side of the movie I think it's the shoots. They aren'tbad, but probably I believed Virzì's work had a greater attention fororiginality, and I asked me why, with the big quantity of entourage andmoney he had, he forgot the attention for the originality in shooting.The shoots are many times ordinary, far from other great movies, likeFellini's Amarcord, which the review Ciak had compared with this.

    With an other kind of shoots (or maybe is just the video editing, Ihope) which gives to movie that "ordinary taste", breaking a littlepart of amazing magic of the movie, this could be one of the greatestworks of Virzì, because is a personal and introspective work, likeItalians know to do very well.

    Although this, "La Prima Cosa Bella" is able to move the spectator, andit's a good movie, but just a little better than the standard of thegenre. My final vote is a 7,5.

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