There are very few films you can watch in a foreign language with subtitles which will make you laugh out loud. Life is Beautiful will do so from beginning to end. Benigni is a motor-mouthed genius, the script and screen play devilishly inventive and impishly funny all the way along.It's certainly no flat-out rib-tickler: The experiences of a Jewish Italian waiter and his family in a concentration camp could hardly be wall to wall slapstick. (Well, in Mel Brooks' capable hands, maybe - but Benigni … more
Pros: Heart Felt, Historical Film Cons: Not 100% believable Life as is beauty is in the eye of the beholder if you believe this film. In the face of unspeakable tragedy the main character tries to shield his son and wife from it all. In the larger sense, he succeeds but at his own peril. A poignant love story is the best way to sum this movie up. A brillant Jewish waiter makes light of all of the negative elements in his life … more
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Italy's rubber-faced funnyman Roberto Benigni accomplishes the impossible in his World War II comedy Life Is Beautiful: he shapes a simultaneously hilarious and haunting comedy out of the tragedy of the Holocaust. An international sensation and the most successful foreign language film in U.S. history, the picture also earned director-cowriter-star Benigni Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actor. He plays the Jewish country boy Guido, a madcap romantic in Mussolini's Italy who wins the heart of his sweetheart (Benigni's real-life sweetie, Nicoletta Braschi) and raises a darling son (the adorable Giorgio Cantarini) in the shadow of fascism. When the Nazis ship the men off to a concentration camp in the waning days of the war, Guido is determined to shelter his son from the evils around them and convinces him they're in an elaborate contest to win (of all things) a tank. Guido tirelessly maintains the ruse with comic ingenuity, even as the horrors escalate and the camp's population continues to dwindle--all the more impetus to keep his son safe, secure, and, most of all, hidden. Benigni walks a fine line mining comedy from tragedy and his efforts are pure fantasy--he accomplishes feats no man could realistically pull off--both of which have drawn fire from a few critics. Yet for all its wacky humor and inventive gags, Life Is Beautiful is a moving and poignant tale of one father's sacrifice to save not just his young son's life but ...