Our Picture of Beauty story is set in Eastern Europe before the First World War, a time of change at a crossroads of nations.
Stephanie and Julia are close friends in a small village dominated by the church, a naked swim together on a hot summers day ignites passions in both of them. Julia dreams of finding a romantic prince to save her from her unhappy family while Stephanie to experience all life has to offer. When Julia’s father hears of her sexual transgression she is sadistically punished and is sent off to an arranged marriage with a policeman in nearby town. Paul is a handsome young man who drives the horse and teaches Julia and too late confesses his love for her.
Franek, a talented painter and one-time forger, is commission by a brothel to paint a large erotic painting to hang on the brothel wall and excite the patrons. Franek seeks models to pose for him and encounters Stephanie. Stephanie falls in love with Franek, but Franek is cold and distant, something in his past holds him back.
Julia is married to the Policeman but in the morning learns the marriage was false and she has been fooled, she runs away.
Franek under Stephanie’s influence has again found his love for art and painting, his painting is changing impressively into modern new forms.
Julia wandering through the forest and comes across young pagan revelers dancing naked around a fire to tribal drums. She meets Paul, who has always loved her, but looses him after being disorientated by hunger and wild mushrooms.
Franek ties up Stephanie in a ritual sexual fetish that puts Stephanie’s and Franek’s beliefs to challenge.
Julia is arrested but then saved by Hazel, Stephanie and Franek, after having finished the painting, they enjoy an explosion of passion, liberation and freedom. The painting is delivered to the brothel.
Picture of Beauty Characters:
Stephanie is a beautiful young woman 20 to 25 years old, she is intelligent independent and a rebel. She is expelled from university because of her political activity, she stands for women’s’ rights, equal pay, free love and for the oppressed. She is a free spirit and wants to experience all life has to offer. She is young and has not experienced much so is impressed by mature intelligent people.
Julia is an 18 to 23 years old, mesmerizing blond woman. She is shy romantic but oppressed by her cruel father-in-law. Her loving mother and father are dead. She has romantic fantasies of handsome prince rescuing her. She has burning erotic desire but sees them in a romantic ground. She is friends with Stephanie who she admires for her courage and courage.
Franek is a charming talented painter in his 30 – 35, painting forgeries and working in order to survive. His artistic talent is kept buried. He paints to survive and has turned is back on art in favour of craft and a quiet life. Meeting Stephanie messes up his plans and love makes him find his way back to the love of art. Failed love in the past makes him reluctant to get involved with relationships and has an interest in the fetish of tying up a woman.
Hazel is a beautiful woman 30 to 40 years old, an artist at a time when it was very hard to be an independent woman. Hazel used to have a relationship with Franek, but it did not work out. Yet, she is still loyal and devoted to him. She is a very talented painter, perhaps even more talented than Franek.
A good look peasant girl 18 to 25 who models for Franel the painter
A good looking man, in his 20 -25, kind and soft, loves animals and nature.
A plumb homely woman housekeeper to Franek.
The Policeman is a cynical and corrupt 30 – 40 years old man. He likes to control younger woman and has a perverse attitude to them.
He’s the Policeman’s friend and not an actual real priest but a a villain with a contempt for justice and women.
An old alcoholic peasant woman easily corrupted with a few drinks
A woman in a man’s world, she has seen a lot and has survived. 45 to 60 years old she is tough and is used to ruling her “girls” in a strong but her mind fair way. For her is all about the money. She is down to earth and with a baldy sense of humour.
Magdalena is a religious fanatic, 30 to 35 years old, she is beautiful but it is hard to see the way she dresses. Disappointed in life she has found God and the Church to express her bitterness.
Is a plain religious fanatic girl of 20 to 30 years old. She’s a simple girl and under the influence and control of Magdalena.
George is 40 to 60 years old, bitter and twisted. He’s a religious fanatic and a sadist loving to punish people and his stepdaughter Julia. Hated by his dead wife he takes revenge on her daughter.