An inspired motion picture masterpiece, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL was nominated for 7 Academy Awards(R) -- winning 3 Oscars, including one for Best Actor Robert Benigni. In this extraordinary tale, Guido (Benigni) -- a charming bu... more »t bumbling waiter who's gifted with a colorful imagination and an irresistible sense of humor -- has won the heart of the woman he loves and created a beautiful life for his young family. But then, that life is threatened by World War II ... and Guido must rely on those very same strengths to save his beloved wife and son from an unthinkable fate! Honored with an overwhelming level of critical acclaim, this truly exceptional, utterly unique achievement will lift your spirits and capture your heart!« less
This could be my favorite movie. I think every high school student should see this in a history class.
Jes G. (jesgear) from DAVENPORT, IA Reviewed on 9/13/2014...
Benigni is a genius. Parts of this movie are very touching and others totally hilarious. This is definitely Roberto's masterpiece.
Stephanie S. from MARIETTA, GA Reviewed on 5/17/2011...
One of my all-time favorites!
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Evelyn R. (Sushicat777) from PICKENS, SC Reviewed on 6/14/2010...
I love this movie. It is funny, sad, heartwarming, tragic, and bittersweet. Although the setting is Nazi Occupied Italy, this is the moving story of a Romance that never dies, the chances taken, and the sacrifices made to preserve the hope and the love of a family.
This is a movie that I will watch again and again. BonGiorno Principessa!!
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
292 Reviews should tell you something. It's terrific!
Maurice Z. Crosby Jr. | Trenton, NJ USA | 04/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Put the children to bed, unplug the phone, get out the tissues and refuse to watch this movie with anybody who likes to talk during a movie. You will be blown away.Holocaust and comedy. Two words never spoken in the same breath before "Life is Beautiful." To smiply label this movie as such, would do it injustice. Every emotion comes into play during the viewing. You soon begin to empathize with Roberto Benigni as he portrays a father trying to keep the harsh realities of a German concentration camp from his young son. Benigni protects his son with two weapons that the German's could not seize: Humor and Imagination.I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and yes I cried. But I also laughed and smiled.I recommend the Sub-title version of the movie. After five minutes the reading becomes natural and the depth to which you become involved with the movie is well worth it.I so enjoyed the music in this movie, that I purchased "Tales of Hoffman" by Offenbach. The second playing of this piece in the movie will not allow you to maintain dry eyes."
Both hilarious and deeply moving
Debbie Lee Wesselmann | the Lehigh Valley, PA | 08/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When Roberto Benigni burst onto the Hollywood scene with this acclaimed film and his over-the-top enthusiasm, I couldn't bring myself to watch this film. Instead, I waited for the DVD. However, what I perceived as hype was truly deserved. "Life is Beautiful" is a wonderfully inventive tale that seems fresh even today, years after its first release. Part slapstick, part drama, part romantic comedy, part tragedy - this story of an Italian family during the Holocaust defies categorization.The films opens with Guido (Benigni) and his friend arriving in town on a car with no brakes and being mistaken for facist officials expected for a parade. This slapstick scene ends with Guido catching the future love of his life, Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), as she jumps from a barn window. The clownish Guido sets out to win her heart despite the odds against him. These early scenes set the stage for the rest of the movie: Guido will rely on invention, humor, and persistence to protect his loved ones despite the obstacles he faces. What begins as slapstick becomes heartbreaking later. Like all stories of the Holocaust, this film has its grim side, but Benigni relies heavily on exaggerated humor, running gags, and an early circus-like atmosphere to set up the emotional power of the time's reality. Most of the atrocities are implied, not witnessed, and the viewer's own knowledge of the time period creates an additional layer of tension.Roberto Benigni is superb as Guido; his antics are hilarious, but during more dire moments, emotions flash across his face, revealing both the depth of his character and the reality of his position. Nicoletta Braschi is also good, and little Giorgio Cantinini as Guido?s son Joshua is adorably spunky, especially as he questions his father's stories.I always advocate watching foreign films in the original language, with subtitles, but I understand that some viewers may not like "reading" a movie. In this case, however, the dubbed version was distracting, as Benigni provides the English track for his own character while American voices dub the rest of the cast. His Italian accent amid the American accents completely broke the illusion for me. Still, if a dubbed version is the only way you'll watch this movie, please do it.I highly recommend "Life is Beautiful." Its offbeat approach remains unparalleled in the canon of Holocaust movies. Because of the absence of explicit violence and sex, viewers as young as thirteen should admire this extraordinary film."
By far, the best movie of all time
Debbie Lee Wesselmann | 11/20/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw Life is Beautiful last winter, and went to see it three times after that initial viewing. I have never been so moved in my enire life. I would, however, like to comment briefly on the one star reviews posted here. First off, Roberto Benigni did not set out to make this movie a true-to-life documentation of German death camps. Instead, he wanted to show us the incredible power of parental and marital love. Second, this movie was anything but boring. The light, playful music combined with the witty script and Bengini's funny anitcs made it more than entertaining (far better than the contant sex, violence, and poor humor in some American films). And third, if you did not appeciate this movie then you went in seeing it with the wrong attitude. A Jewish friend of mine said it was the best film she ever had seen. My life has chnaged drastically since viewing this film. I hug my parents daily now (I'm 16) and thank them for all their sacrifices. I smile more. I appricate life, because life truly is beautful. I will never, ever forget the last scene, when the little boy falls into his mother's arms and shouts ecsatatically, "We won, we won!"."
For those who thought it did injustice to the Holocaust...
John Christopher | 02/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I watched this movie with a Holocaust survivor. She said afterward it was the one movie she had seen that did entire justice to the Holocaust, because it showed that the only way to make it through and still be remotely sound in mind was to create a fantasy world for oneself, to convince oneself that what one was experiencing was not reality. This movie does not make light of the Holocaust, it shows what strength of spirit it took to get through it. To remain that light-hearted in the midst of probably the greatest tragedy of the 20th century is strength indeed. I wish that I could give this movie more than 5 stars. I laughed, I cried, and it haunted me for weeks. If you don't see it, you are missing out on the most beautiful movie, both cinematographically and in spirit, that has ever been made."
John Christopher | 11/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First, my impression of the film-I don't think I laughed and cried so much in a long time. Buy it, own it and share it with others!Now my input on the DVD experience. The disc contains a dubbed version of the film in English. We tried watching this version first, but found the dialogue and story were actually harder to follow than the subtitles! When we started the film over again with the English subtitles "on" we discoved we were missing Roberto's energy and punctuation. Even if you don't understand a word of Italian you need to hear the impact in the actor's voices to appreciate what is being said. Still, if you can't deal with the subtitles you have a choice. Incidently, the sections of the film which feature German dialogue are not dubbed so we still have the same experience as our characters do.The bonus materials area on the disc features several TV spots (commercials) for the film. No real bonanza here, but there is a brief documentary, "Making Life Beautiful". It features footage from various programs where the film has won awards, etc. It also contains a mini-filmography of other Benigni films and interviews with his various costars. The documentary tone is very promotion oriented spending most of its time patting Benigni and company on the back-deservedly so.Picture clarity is excellent (what you would expect from a new film) and sound very good as well."