'Stay As You Are'
(Nastassja Kinski, Marcello Mastroianni, et al / Blu ray / NR / (1978) 2015 / Italian with Optional English Subtitles / Cult Epics)
Overview: 'Stay As You Are' tells the controversial story of an architect, Roué Giulio Marengo (Marcello Mastroianni), who is unhappy in his marriage, and starts a romance with the young and beautiful girl Florentine (Nastassja Kinski.) When he finds out thru his wife that she may be his daughter, he has to make a decision. .
Blu ray Verdict: 'Stay as You Are' (which actually had an original title of 'Cosi Come Sei) was Nastassja Kinski's fifth film, but her first major film, one year before her breakthrough with Polanski's 'Tess.' It followed on the heels of the Wim Wenders' 'The Wrong Move' (1975), 'To the Devil ... a Daughter' (1976), and both under the radar exploits, 'Only For Your Love' (1977) and the following years 'Boarding School.'
Lead actor Marcello Mastroianni (who was 54 at the time) 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. Ergo, 'Stay As You Are' is an Italian film, most definitely of the time, with its own ebbs and flows. Indeed, it's that very same undercurrent, its soft belly, that gets exposed sooner rather than later in the form of an extra marital affair - a repeated undercurrent in many Italian films.
Director Alberto Lattuada knew what he wanted, knew what he had to film, to express, and did just that - all with the inevitable celluloid aid of the endlessly beautiful Kinski. Kinski, who would have been 19 at the time of filming, revels in her role as the younger girl seduced by the older man. Sure it's a classic tale told a million times, but here in Lattuada's hands 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".
And yes, yes, yes I know a lot of people will simply buy this new Blu ray release from Cult Epics for the copious amount of Kinski nude scenes! But, please keep in mind that they are not very well-paced throughout this movie. I mean, in all honesty, Kinski spends the first half of the movie dressed and the second half almost perpetually naked! Not good enough for you? Well, when Kinski isn't getting bare naked, the beautiful Ana Peironi (Dario Argento's 'Inferno') who plays Kinski's promiscuous roommate gets the job done for her!
In conclusion, if you are happy to watch this film for all that was detailed above, you will be able to comfortably sit back and enjoy this classic. That said, know that it is in Italian, but that there are optional English subtitles. 'Stay As You Are' is a classic, and a film that you need to watch at least once in your life - so why not now on this incredibly crisp, and clean new Blu ray edition from Cult Epics? This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Optional English language or Italian language with English subtitles