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The First Beautiful Thing

The First Beautiful Thing

The First Beautiful Thing


The First Beautiful Thing

2010 – 35mm – color – 116’


Direction: Paolo Virzì

Screenplay: Paolo Virzì, Francesco Bruni, Francesco Piccolo

Cinematography: Nicola Pecorini

Editing: Simone Manetti

Set design: Tonino Zera

Music: Carlo Virzì

Costumes: Gabriella Pescucci

Cast: Micaela Ramazzotti (Anna Nigiotti in Michelucci 1970-1980), Stefania Sandrelli (Anna Nigiotti in Michelucci), Valerio Mastandrea (Bruno Michelucci) , Claudia Pandolfi (Valeria Michelucci), Marco Messeri (Il Nesi), Aurora Frasca – (Valeria Michelucci 1970), Giacomo Bibbiani (Bruno Michelucci 1970), Giulia Burgalassi (Valeria Michelucci 1980), Francesco Rapalino (Bruno Michelucci 1980), Isabella Cecchi (aunt Leda Nigiotti), Sergio Albelli (Mario Michelucci), Fabrizia Sacchi (Sandra), Dario Ballantini (counsel Cenerini), Paolo Ruffini (Cristiano Cenerini),

Producers: Paolo Virzì, Giampaolo Letta, Fabrizio Donvito, Marco Cohen, Benedetto Habib

Production: Medusa Film, Motorino Amaranto, Indiana Production Company


It’s 1971 and Anna Nigiotti is voted “most beautiful mom” at the most famous beach resort in Livorno, attracting the flirtatious attentions of local men while making her husband Mario angry and suspicious and her eldest son Bruno ashamed of her. Today, now in poor health, her contagious vitality still affects those around her. Bruno has long since cut ties with her, but his sister Valeria convinces him to come back to Livorno to bid farewell to their mother. The encounter with that volcanic woman after so many years forces Bruno to recall the past, those distant days when they were searching for a place to stay after being thrown out of their home by a father, blinded by jealousy. And even then, they could always rely on the unwavering optimism of that foolish yet cheerful mom of theirs.

critical note

“It would be enough to remember that embrace between Bruno and Valeria, (…) which is as heartwarming as the relationship between don Giulio and his sister in The Mass Is Ended, similar to Virzì’s film in its way of starting to use a song as soundtrack and then having the protagonists sing it themselves. (…) Mastandrea and Ramazzotti inhabit their characters with an intensity rarely seen in Italian cinema, Pandolfi delivers the best performance of her career and Sandrelli appears almost like the reincarnation of Adriana from I Knew Her Well.” (Simone Emiliani, Sentieri Selvaggi)

premi awards

2010 David di Donatello: Best Screenplay, Best Actor to Valerio Mastandrea, Best Actress to Micaela Ramazzotti

2010 FICE Award: Miglior Regista Best Director

2010 Golden Ciak: Best Screenplay, Best Costumes

2010 Golden Globes, Italia: Best Actress

2010 Silver Ribbons: Miglior Regia, Best Direction, Best Actress to Micaela Ramazzotti and Stefania Sandrelli, Best Screenplay, Best Costumes

2011 Golden Graal Award: Best Director – Comedy, Best Actress – Comedy to Micaela Ramazzotti