Directed by Roberto Benigni | Released 1997 | La vita e bella
I love this film. I didn’t fully understand it when I first watched it because I was a child and I don’t think children are meant to understand this film completely. Watching Life is Beautiful now as an adult, I do understand it. It is about innocence, and keeping it alive, it is about sacrifice and how love means you will do anything to make life better and more beautiful for those you love.
Even though I now realise the horrors depicted in this film, I am still glad that I watched it as a child, because I have been able to see this story from both sides. When i was younger I couldn’t comprehend what was going on, I didn’t realise the seriousness of the situation. I saw this film through the eyes of little Giosué and giggled along with him at the silly jokes his father made. Now my heart breaks a little at these moments, because I understand Guido.
Although this film received heavy criticism for “trivializing the holocaust”, I don’t think that should put anyone off watching it. It is difficult to know whether it is insensitive, but I definitely do not think that was Roberto Benigni’s intentions. I will always love this movie and would definitely recommend it, but would also suggest to bring a box of tissues… You’ll need them!
Won the following awards (and more):
- Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role – Roberto Benigni
- Oscar for Best Music, Original Dramatic Score – Nicola Piovani
- Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film
- BAFTA for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role – Roberto Benigni
- Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role – Roberto Benigni
- AFI Fest Audience Award for Best Feature Film – Roberto Benigni
And was nominated for the following awards (and more):
- Oscar for Best Picture – Elda Ferri and Gianluigi Braschi
- Oscar for Best Director – Roberto Benigni
- Oscar for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen – Vincenzo Cerami and Roberto Benigni
- Oscar for Best Film Editing – Simona Paggi