ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – L – Life is Beautiful (1997) Movie Review

Director: Roberto Benigni

Writer: Vincenzo Cerami, Roberto Benigni (Screenplay)

Starring: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini, Giustino Durano Sergio Bini Bustric

Plot: When an open-minded Jewish waiter and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor, and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp.


Tagline – An unforgettable fable that proves love, family and imagination conquer all.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Life is Beautiful starts as we meet Guido (Benigni) who travels around his town to try and keep things positive with his humour and energy, meeting Dora (Braschi) despite covering up that he is a waiter, even though she is dating someone else in the town.

When Guide and Dora finally end up together, they start a family having a son Giosue (Cantarini), only for Guido’s Jewish background to get the attention of the town, seeing the family taken to a concentration camp by the Nazis. Here Guido will try to keep his positive look on life, despite knowing what the fate of his family will end up being.

Thoughts on Life is Beautiful

ThoughtsLife is Beautiful is the multi-Oscar winning movie that shows how one man gave everything to maintain a positive attitude for his son in a concentration camp during the Holocaust, despite knowing what fate is waiting for them. This is a film that plays out like a comedy for the first part, showing how Guido is always trying to find the best out of everyday life, no matter how difficult it might be for him. This is showing in the energetic performance from Roberto Benigni that carries the film, between the happy life they have made for each other and the strength in the face of reality he is facing for his family. The two complete opposite locations we have are important to the change in tone the film goes through, with the positive beautiful Italian village, bringing all happiness in life, while the concentration camp shows the negative everyone is going through. This might well make too much fun of the holocaust at times, not getting enough of the serious side to what was happening, but it will leave with one of the most heart breaking visions of many Holocaust films.

Final Thoughts Life is Beautiful is a powerful movie, filled with heart, in a heart breaking world.

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