Seven Beauties

"Extraordinary"

Seven Beauties Review


Lina Wertmüller's most complex film is also one of her funniest and most touching. While it's a Holocaust film at heart, Seven Beauties sprawls across a decade or so in the history of Italy. The hero -- if you can call him that -- is Pasqualino Frafuso (Giancarlo Giannini), the sole boy in a family of eight kids, a fact that has clearly caused him some stress as a youth.

Pasqualino ends up killing one of his sisters' (the beauties) boyfriends, winds up in prison, transfers to the loony bin, and finally escapes by agreeing to enlist in Mussolini's rising Italian army. He's shipped off the the front and quickly captured by the Germans (yeah, they're allies, don't ask) and sentenced to a concentration camp. And yet Pasqualino survives it all, never really succumbing to the horrors that surround him at every turn. Most of the film plays out during his time in the camp, with flashbacks telling us how he got to where he is now. The effect is something like Slaughterhouse-Five.

Seven Beauties is perhaps best remembered for two scenes: First, the opening credits, which plays a unique, jazzy tune about the depravity of humanity, punctuated with the refrain "Oh yeah..." -- which stock photos of Mussolini and other infamous faces and moments from history. And then there's the scene with Pasqualino attempting to coerce his way out of the concentration camp, by seducing a hefty, cruel female guard -- think of her as Ilsa, only really, really disgusting.

Wertmüller pulls out all the stops here, imbuing the film with an epic sense of scope and creating some truly impressive sets on what couldn't have been an enormous budget. Although it has moments of weird color timing, the movie is otherwise technically flawless, a real surprise considering that many of Wertmüller's other movies feel rather slapdash in their construction.

If you're among the many legions of fans who think Roberto Benigni's Life Is Beautiful is the pinnacle of filmmaking, you owe it to yourself to check out Seven Beauties, which clearly influenced it in a major way. That Benigni is nowhere to be found in this film is only the icing on the cake.

The new remastered DVD includes an interview with Wertmüller.

Aka Pasqualino Settebellezze.



Seven Beauties

Facts and Figures

Run time: 115 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 21st January 1976

Distributed by: Koch Lorber Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Fresh: 10 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 7.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Lina Wertmüller

Producer: , Lina Wertmüller

Starring: as Pasqualino Frafuso, as Pedro the Anarchist Prisoner, as Commandant, as Concettina, a Sister

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.