Life Is Beautiful 1998 CC

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(253) IMDb 8.6/10
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In 1939, young Italian Jew Guido Orefice (Roberto Benigni) travels with his friend Ferruccio to Arezzo, where his uncle has promised to help set him up with a bookshop. Guido immediately falls in love with beautiful gentile Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), and eventually woos her away from local fascist official Rodolfo. Guido and Dora marry, have a son, Giosué, and are very happy. However, when war breaks out a few years later, Guido and Giosué are moved to a Nazi concentration camp. Determined to protect his son from the horrors of war, Guido tells him that the camp is all part of a game, and that Giosué's prize will be a life-size version of the toy tank he loves to play with. The film won three Academy Awards, including Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actor for Roberto Benigni.

Starring:
Roberto Benigni, Giorgio Cantarini
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 2 hours 2 minutes
Starring Roberto Benigni, Giorgio Cantarini, Nicoletta Braschi
Director Roberto Benigni
Genres Drama, Romance
Studio BUENA VISTA HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 22 January 2001
Main languages Italian, English
Subtitles Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, English
Hearing impaired subtitles English
Original title La Vita e Bella
Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 2 hours 2 minutes
Starring Roberto Benigni, Giorgio Cantarini, Nicoletta Braschi
Director Roberto Benigni
Genres Drama, Romance
Studio TECHNICOLOR DISTRIBUTION SERVICES
Rental release 2 April 2012
Main languages Italian
Subtitles English

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

152 of 163 people found the following review helpful By gary.saunderson@btinternet.com on 27 Nov. 2001
Format: VHS Tape
What a great shame that foreign films do not get the acclaim that they truly deserve. The problem with us Brits is that we are brainwashed into thinking that should a film not come out of Hollywood, then it surely can't be worth watching....can it? Roberto Benigni's masterpiece (which I truly believe in years to come will go down in film history as one of the all-time greats) is set in Italy against the back-drop of WWII, the Holocaust and a fathers determination to shield his naive and simplistic young son from the horrors of it all. The film is a roller coaster of emotions and in the space of 5 minutes it can make you laugh out loud, cry in despair and then cry for joy. Any film that can do that is a film worth watching. The dialogue is stunning as is the acting and forget the fact that it is in Italian with subtitles, it was the way the film was meant to be. If you love good films and belive in life outside the Hollywood glitz, go on....treat yourself to a true classic.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful By "blacksbooks" on 27 Aug. 2004
Format: DVD
Magical.
I spent a long time trying to think of an adequate word to describe this film after I had watched it and that was the only one that came close to doing it justice. Put quite simply this film is a masterpiece. The menagerie of emotions it evokes is unlike anything I have ever witnessed. You'll laugh until tears stream down your cheeks, you will try your hardest to bite back tears and when the film is over you will sit in abject silence, merely thinking about what you have just witnessed. Whether you adore it or not it cannot be denied that Life Is Beautiful is a film you simply cannot forget as quickly as you turn it off.
Roberto Benigni slides into the role of Guido easily, a role that he puts his stamp on and makes unforgettable almost immediately. I will refrain from writing a synopsis as this is already provided although the story itself is fantastically written, dividing the film into two halves. One light and humorous the other dark and poignant yet still retaining a few laughs ('...because I just had to have a jam sandwich!').
The only recommendation I can make to those watching it for the first time is to forget about the dubbing. Watch it through in the original Italian with english subtitles and it makes for a much more enjoyable watch. The emotion given to Guido by Benigni is portrayed through his words as well as actions and the effect is all but lost in the dubbing.
I was surprised to hear from a friend recently that a lot of people considered this film controversial. Apparently it is insensitive to the topic and approaches it in a manner that lacks the proper respect. Never have I heard such contrived nonsense.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By loolae on 30 July 2008
Format: DVD
Although i understand the viewpoints of those people who have only rated this as a 1 star, i would have to disagree. the common dislike seems to be that it is inappropriate to make a 'comedy' with the central theme being the holocaust. i however do not think that that is what this film is supposed to be. The comic beginning of the film is intended to make the viewer find the irrepressible main character impossible not to love. this in turn serves only to heighten the incredible sadness and feelings of loss that the rest of the film conveys. it is a dark, beautiful and moving film. The use of comedy, in my opinion is that which makes the holocaust theme hit home more than any amount of pathos ever could. I can't help but find this to be one of the most moving films i have ever seen. i entirely recommend it, so long as you are not looking for a comedy, but rather a unique look at the terrible happenings of this period of history.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 July 2000
Format: DVD
First of all, let me clarify that whoever said that you can't make a comedy about the Holocaust was right, and that's why this film stops being a comedy the moment Guido, Giosue and Dora enter the concentration camp. the first half of the movie is a romantic comedy, basically designed to set up Guido's character and capacity for unquestioning, absolute love. The second half takes place in a concentration camp, into which Guido and his family are deported. The movie then turns from comedy to heartbreaking tragedy. Benignis achievement is absolutely unique, in that he shows all the madness of the holocaust, but no violence, which is not necessary because all happens in the viewer's mind. I was not only terrified and touched to the heart, when the movie was over, I cried like I've never cried at a movie before( with the exception of Schindler's List.) Words cannot describe the emotional density of this movie. It surely was the best film in 98 and should have got the Best Picture Oscar. If it had been an American film, it would have.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By BookJumper on 4 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD
This film is as beautiful as life according to the title. Undoubtedly, it will have added to my overall appreciation and understanding that I am Italian and did not need to see this subtitled, but even so, I am frankly staggered to find that so many people were outraged by this sweet, tender little gem of a film. La Vita E' Bella does not minimise the crimes of Nazism, and the suffering of thousands of innocents during WWII.

What it does is tell the story, heart-warming and -wrenching at the same time, of a man who so dearly loves his son that he will not have him tainted by the horrors of the concentration camp, and thus does every thing he can think of to make the little boy believe that the corpses around him are just pretending, just taking part in a complex game where people only look like they get shot and hurt.

Why would Benigni, I wonder, go to such pains to invent a whole new reality for his child, if he did not fully comprehend and condemn the terrible events as they really happened? The film is not trying to re-write history. It is simply showing how, through the force of fatherly love, an innocent may be taught to smile, and hope, and never to despair. If that's not a message worthy of the big screen I don't know what is.

If you haven't watched this film, please approach it without prejudice. Approach it not as a slanderous lie, but as the story of how imagination may save a human soul.
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