Stay as You Are

1978 [ITALIAN]

Drama / Romance

IMDb Rating 6.3 10 1420

Plot summary

October 10, 2022 at 09:15 AM


Alberto Lattuada

Top cast

Marcello Mastroianni as Giulio Marengo
Nastassja Kinski as Francesca
960.12 MB
Italian 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by toclement 8 / 10

Impressive film about love, aging, incest, and human foolishness

I was pleasantly surprised by this film because I had seen the low scores it had received from imdb. In fact, this was one of the more impressive love story films I have seen in a long time. The plot is essentially about a middle-aged man who gets tangled up with a 20-year old girl and finds that both of them have a hard time resisting the other. Soon after meeting, however, he discovers that he may actually be the girl's father! He struggles endlessly with this dilemma, but the temptation of romance and sex with a vibrant young woman is irresistable.

It's a story that takes an interesting look at one of the most prevalent taboos in virtually all modern societies: incest. But it does so intelligently and unpredictably. The man is a protagonist: he struggles and suffers over the morality of his actions, but he is also human and in need of passion in his life (which he no longer gets from his wife). The girl might seem to be the victim, but she is not, at least not on the surface. She is excited by mature, wise men, and it's of little importance that he is old enough to be her father.

As the romance intensifies, it's ridiculousness is magnified, but again it is done in very intelligent and subtle (and therefore realistic) ways. The mature and steady protagonist suddenly appears to be somewhat foolish. What will they ever talk about? What do they really have in common once they get out of their hotel bed? Yet he is too weak and desparate and lonely to do anything else. The immature girl is the one who begins to realize that the relationship has already peaked.

In the end, the film is an excellently told tale about the mid-life crisis so many middle-aged men face. The incest part of the story, which may disgust the more puritanical types, is only an additional wrinkle to a very interesting and complex (but not uncommon) situation.

A young Nastassja Kinski is convincing as the flighty but romantic 20-year old, and Marcello Mastroianni turns in another one of his great performances, solidifying my belief that he is one of the four or five greatest actors of all time.

Reviewed by fookoo 10 / 10

Nastassja Kinski 1978: star power of the first order of magnitude

"Stay as You Are" was Nastassja Kinski's fifth film following the 1975 Wim Wenders, "The Wrong Move," a so-so 1976 "To the Devil...a Daughter," and the two forgettable's: 1977 "Only For Your Love" and the 1978 "Boarding School." It is an Italian film of the time with its own mores with respect to extra marital affairs - a repeated undercurrent in many Italian films. "Stay as You Are" follows an older man who is contemplating an affair with a young girl, Nastassja Kinski, who is the same age as his own daughter but with the complication that Nastassja may actually be his real daughter from an affair of twenty years ago. A good European director can finesse this sort of situation. Most American directors would be over their heads and would be fortunate if they could tread water because the subject would be taboo in the American market. The actor is the legendary Marcello Mastroianni who at the time would have been 54. In viewing her early films, it is hard to not conclude that Nastassja has a birth year of 1959 and not the claimed 1961 because of her physical development. Perhaps she was just precocious. That would have placed her at nineteen for this film. The next year would give us Roman Polanski's "Tess" and "Stay as You Are" was a good prelude because it showed that, even at her young age, Nastassja had the screen presence to carry movies on her own opposite one of the European super stars of the time. The VHS tape that I saw was dubbed into English with neither voices matching either Nastassja's or Mastroianni's actual voices. For me, it is better to watch a movie in its native language with English subtitles, unless the principal actors do their own dubbing. An awful example of English dubbing is the French movie "La Femme Nikita." The voice is an integral part of an actor's screen presence, unless playing a mute like Nastassja did in "The Wrong Move." Some actors always sound the same, movie after movie. Nastassja Kinski is able to change her voice, according to the the needs of her role. She is one of very few actresses who is fluent in multiple languages. In "To the Devil...a Daughter" it is English, "The Blonde" it is Italian, "Moon in the Gutter" it is French, "Terminal Velocity" there is a little Russian. The bulk of her movies are in English. "Faraway, So Close" there is both German and English. "Paris, Texas" has Nastassja in a convincing Texan accent in which one would be hard pressed to know from the voice that it is she.

Marcello Mastroianni always seems to bring a signature vulnerability whose intensity varies with the role. These characters are usually thoughtful and contemplative with an edge of awkwardness. Another way of putting it, is that these roles usually have depth. In "Stay as You Are" Mastroianni is almost entirely reactive to Nastassja's character. At first, he pursues her, then she pursues him because she likes older man. Then it is back and forth. Nastassja has to carry the movie. Sometimes she is flighty and silly. Other times she is serious. Her physical beauty is easily matched by her acting talent. Her movements are fluid, sometimes discontinuous, and her face ever changing as appropriate to the situation. Nastassja Kinski is a great natural actress who makes everything look easy. Her performances are always intelligent with a screen savviness that can be mesmerizing.

"Stay as You Are" is a tender romantic jewel that is difficult to find on VHS tape and expensive, if found. Along with "The Wrong Move," it would benefit from a first class transfer onto DVD with commentaries from Wim Wenders and Nastassja Kinski. I would have to include both "The Wrong Move" and "Stay as You Are" in any list of her core set of movies. There is a region 2 DVD widescreen version that is playable on a computer DVD, but it is in Italian with no English subtitles. With its not unexpected symmetry, "Stay as You Are" and Nastassja Kinski is cinema magic.

Reviewed by rmax304823 6 / 10

Thou Who Hast The Fatal Gift of Beauty.

Nicely executed soap opera of middle-aged architect Marcello Mastroianni loving the criminally gorgeous seventeen-year-old Nastassja Kinski before ultimately breaking up. Of course, nothing in life is simple. Years ago, Mastroianni had an affair with Kinski's mother and the possibility exists that she is his real daughter. Oh, to hold thee lightly on a gentle knee and print on thy soft cheek a parent's kiss! But Incest be damned. Instead, he spends one night making savage love to her before they both realize this May-December business renders it all pointless.

The direction is functional. Alberto Lattuada has one artistic shot of two bright orange rowing shells emerging from under a dull stone bridge and forming striking geometric patterns, but then he goes and ruins it with clichés. Mastroianni is wandering with a camera around one of Florence's tourist spots. The movie camera pans around until it fixes on some feature of the landscape -- some swans, a statue in a ruined state -- then we hear a camera shutter click and the picture freezes. This happens half a dozen repetitive times for reasons known only to the director, or maybe nobody at all. At a horse race, the animals pound along in slow motion. Ho hum. The musical score is mostly electronic, or tinny violins, and is more irritating than constructive.

The best part of the film comes from the two principals. Of Kinski it must be said that her features and figure are almost too flawless. There isn't a single angle that doesn't flatter her and make her look desirable in the most sensual way. The curious thing is that -- well, there is a photo of her in the arms of her compellingly ugly father, Klaus, in which she can't be more than a few years old. She stares at the camera with a dark gaze that's already arresting. Now she's middle aged and STILL looks like the perfectly featured middle-aged woman! Dancing around the flat in the nude, she makes Mastroianni bite her plump rear cheek. Okay. One or two nude scenes resembling soft-core porn. But she is, after all, just a wanton kid at heart. She plays disgusting tricks on Mastroianni and nags him to take her to night clubs when all the poor guy wants to do is sleep.

Mastroianni is fiftyish and his age shows. He's no longer the lost young journalist of "La Dolce Vita" but he's still handsome. I can forgive him his handsomeness because he's so superior at projecting emotions that we ordinary men can identify with -- doubt, pathos, guilt. The merest of Mastroianni's resigned shrugs gets the job done. Cary Grant was handsome too, but he won me over with his ability to show bemusement and mock indignation.

Unfortunately, the film is dubbed, and not well. Mastroianni is given the mellifluous baritone of a radio actor or the guy who does voiceovers in TV commercials. Kinski has the breathless piping voice of an adolescent and it sounds like whoever did her dubbing had a difficult time with it because the effort shows. Better if Kinski had dubbed herself. Hers has a distinctive deep nasal quality that we've all learned to associate with her appearance on screen.

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1 Comment

steveaustin78 profile
steveaustin78 October 10, 2022 at 09:37 am

I want to have natassja kinki's juiceballs in my mouth. Such a piece of slatt she is .