Life Is Beautiful

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Released 1997

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Movie Summary

Director:
Roberto Benigni
Released:
1997
Rating:
PG-13
Life is Beautiful is the acclaimed 1997 war drama from celebrated comedian-filmmaker Roberto Benigni. Guido Orefice (Benigni, Down by Law, Night on Earth, Pinocchio, Coffee and Cigarettes) is a funny waiter who works to his uncle Eliseo (Giustino Durano).He falls for a schoolteacher named Dora (Nicoletta Braschi, The Tiger and the Snow), whom he calls 'principessa.' Later, they are married with a son Giosu' (Giorgio Cantarini, Gladiator) and Guido owns a bookstore. Due to Guido's Jewish origin he's sent to concentration camp with his son. Dora follows them but is put in another part of the camp. Guido makes his son to believe that it's all a game where you have to collect 1000 points and the winner gets a tank. That way he shuts the eyes of his son from the horrors of the concentration camp. He keeps up his good spirit in the eyes of Giosu' even when he's going through some incredible misery.

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Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    Benigni effectively creates a situation in which comedy is courage. And he draws from this an unpretentious, enormously likable film that plays with history both seriously and misc...

  • 70

    Variety

    Sluggish, uneven and lacking in rhythm, it nonetheless has enough pathos and winning humor.

  • 60

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    While it's futile to pretend that Life Is Beautiful completely triumphs--it's simply too tough a concept to sustain--what is surprising about this unlikely film is that it succeeds...

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