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.

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

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

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.