BEAUTIFUL REBEL on Netflix is a biography drama from Italy (org. title: Sei nell’anima). This biopic is all about Gianna Nannini. An Italian bisexual female rockstar who rose to fame in Europe in the 1980s. Read our full Beautiful Rebel movie review here!

BEAUTIFUL REBEL is a new Netflix movie from Italy (org. title: Sei nell’anima). This true story is a music biopic about Gianna Nannini. Her first album came out in 1979 but she is still going strong. Letizia Toni portrays Gianna Nannini and she’s perfectly cast!

In this Netflix biography, we see her rise to fame, but we also experience the time when she almost gave up. The movie about her life focuses on the importance of music and relationships. Both the ones that saved her and those who almost broke her. A fascinating life story that’s far from over.

Continue reading our Beautiful Rebel movie review below. Find it on Netflix from May 2, 2024.

Being Gianna Nannini

This biopic focuses on the beginning of her career. Especially the first five years or so. However, we do begin in her childhood, so you get an idea of where she came from and how she was different from what her family (her father in particular) wanted and expected of her.

Her dad is portrayed by Maurizio Lombardi, and you’ll surely recognize him from the new Netflix Ripley mini-series if you’ve watched that. He portrays the role of Gianna’s stern (yet also caring) father wonderfully here.

After her first few albums, there still isn’t a real breakthrough and something needs to change. Or be tweaked somehow so she can get a hit! Leading up to this, there’s a turning point that cuts Gianna’s life into two parts. It leads to the year 1983, which is considered her true birth as an artist!

It is by no means an easy birth, and as we journey into the life and creative mind of this woman, we’re also faced with her demons. As a singer-songwriter, she’s in constant search of inspiration and transformation which in turn makes her music a manifesto of freedom.

Letizia Toni becomes Gianna Nannini

As much as I’ve enjoyed the music of Gianna Nannini, I’m even more fond of the person Letizia Toni portrays her as in Beautiful Rebel. It’s a strong portrayal that requires her to be extremely free and vulnerable as an actor. And that’s what Letizia Toni gives to this project: Her entire being!

As the constant partner (though on-off for a long time), we see Selene Caramazza as Carla. She’s called “Eleven” in the movie, but her name is Carla. Fortunately, Letizia Toni and Selene Caramazza have an extremely powerful chemistry, which makes a huge part of Beautiful Rebel work as well as it does.

For the record, Gianna Nannini has labeled herself as bisexual for as long as I can remember – and as a child of the 1980s, growing up in Europe, I remember her quite well. In fact, I can’t remember ever having watched her in a music video and not getting the feeling that I was somehow like her. Or she was like me. Well, the gay part, anyway.

Or rather, when she was about to give in to drugs, insecurities, and some serious mental health issues. We’re talking A Beautiful Mind levels of issues which is not a good combination with drugs. However, she also had some good people around her, who knew that music could be her saviour. Listening to her lyrics, it’s difficult to disagree.

Beautiful Rebel – Review – Netflix Movie

Meet one of Italy’s greatest rock stars

I know I described Gianna Nannini as a “female rockstar” earlier, but that was merely to make sure you knew that Gianna is a woman. In case you’ve never heard of her before. And if you’re not European – especially German or Italian – then I can’t blame you.

However, you are now in luck as you can get to know her in Beautiful Rebel. And Gianna Nannini was definitely a rebel. Just pay attention to the lyrics of her songs, which are sung in Italian but also translated in the subtitles, and you’ll see just how rebellious she was. Talking about women’s health and mental health when most refused to!

These days, she lives in London with her partner, Carla, and her daughter. A daughter she had when she was 56 years old (the identity of the father has not been divulged). Apparently, she left Italy for England because a civil union was possible there and she wanted to make sure her daughter still had a legal parent if something happened.

This is not in the movie, but just a little extra information for you, dear reader.

Watch Beautiful Rebel on Netflix now!

The new Netflix movie Beautiful Rebel is based on the life of Gianna Nannini, but it’s also very much based on the book written by Gianna Nannini. In other words, she is completely behind this biopic and is also in it towards the end, when it almost goes from a biopic to a documentary.

Only towards the very end, and as I’m a sucker for seeing the real person whose life I just learned more about, I was very happy about this.

The director of Sei nell’anima (both the original Italian title and the name of a huge Gianna Nannini hit song) is Cinzia TH Torrini.

There’s something about the pacing in the final act that I wasn’t crazy about. The two first parts work better for me. Still, I very much enjoyed getting to know Gianna Nannini much better through this Netflix movie.

Beautiful Rebel is on Netflix worldwide from May 2, 2024.

Womentainment Recommendation

You’ll want to know Gianna Nannini

Watching Beautiful Rebel and seeing the actual images of Gianna Nannini, it’s obvious just what a brilliant job Letizia Toni does of portraying the iconic rock star. And, make no mistake, Gianna Nannini is a bonafide rockstar.

Also, she’s a queer icon. Just look at her style and vibe from back when her career took off in the 1980s. Apart from the very 80s German-inspired hairstyles – which are even commented on in the movie – her wardrobe is wonderfully gay.

I would also encourage anyone watching to recognize what an amazing songwriter she is. This woman is an actual poet and I would love it if the rest of the world got to know and acknowledge her. Watching Beautiful Rebel is a fine place to start. Enjoy!

Director: Cinzia TH Torrini
Cast: Letizia Toni, Selene Caramazza, Maurizio Lombardi, Stefano Rossi Giordani, Andrea Delogu

Official plot:

The origin story of one of Italy’s greatest rock stars, Gianna Nannini, who chased her dream despite obstacles from her family and the music industry.