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No spring chicken

"No Spring Chicken" (La Bruttina Stagionata) is a sort of “Alice in Horror-land”... but also an ugly duckling that becomes a swan!

The story of Marilina marks the passage from near total disharmony to a new equilibrium won at dear price.

A mere specter of herself, even the work she does keeps her locked in a personal limbo: what could be more anonymous than writing graduation theses for others?

Marilina is an “ugly ducking” painfully aware that she loves the “hip, cool and beautiful,” and all the trappings of that plush and distant world to which she can never belong.

Along a tragicomic passage through paradox, a bumpy ride full of humiliation and other extremes, she discovers that the only viable option is to rebel against a cruel destiny, that in her case seems irremediably written and sealed.

Marilina's story is also a metaphor of the present-day trauma of just being “normal,” in a world splashed and glossed by publicity and unrestrained aestheticism.

She sells a kidney in exchange for a nose job at our story's Aesthetic Surgery Center.

A lot of awareness and lucidity goes into her rebirth: mustering her will, Marilina morphs from caterpillar to butterfly, ready to catch the eye and respect of those around her, men included.

With an openly paradoxical tone combined with a frenetic pace, my film takes an unabashedly non-realistic approach. The characters are all extreme, accentuated to underscore the void in which they operate and to highlight the grotesqueries, angst and melancholy of our age.


Italian title



Italian distribution

Foreign distribution




Direction of photography

Set design


Sound engineering







No spring chicken

La bruttina stagionata


Goodtime Enterprise in collaboration with Rai Tre

Italian International Film

Rai Trade

Anna Di Francisca and Patrizia Pistagnesi

Freely based on the novel by Carmen Covito - Published by Edizioni Bompiani

Anna di Francisca, Patrizia Pistagnesi, Giovanni Robbiano

Luigi Verga

Beatrice Scarpato

Liliana Sotira

Ugo Celani

Simona Paggi

Pasquale Filastò

Anna Di Francisca

Carla Signoris, Edi Angelillo, Fabrizio Gifuni, Angelo Sorino, Tony Nardi, Milena Vukotic and with the partecipation of Isabella Biagini

Mention at the  Prix Europa Berlino;  Leone Magno Prize for direction and leading actress; Selected for Input 97, Nantes; Nastro d’Argento nomination for best direction debut and best set design; David di Donatello nomination for best direction debut and supporting actress.

Partecipates in numerous festivals.

Bruttina 6
Bruttina 7
Bruttina 8
Bruttina 5
Bruttina 4
Bruttina 2
Bruttina 3

Set photographer: Marco Di Francisca

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