DVD Life Is Beautiful [DVD] [] [1999] [Region 1] (DVD 7024589),
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Life Is Beautiful [DVD] [] [1999] [Region 1]

  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Conjuring keys and hats out of thin air, Guido (Roberto Benigni), a clever Jewish-Italian waiter, successfully courts Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), a beautiful local woman, in Fascist pre-WWII Italy. His life, however, is turned upside down a few years later when he, Dora, and their young son, Giosu (Giorgio Cantarini), are sent to a Nazi concentration camp. Refusing to give up hope, Guido tries to protect his son's innocence by pretending that their imprisonment is just an elaborate game, with the grand prize being a tank.

    For years the box-office champ in Italy and the country's most beloved slapstick comic, the Chaplinesque Benigni took a huge risk with LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. Many people worried that the film would be as offensive as plopping a cartoon character in Auschwitz. (A similar work--THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED, a Jerry Lewis film about a comedian in a concentration camp--turned out to be a disaster two decades earlier.) Although LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL did provoke some controversy, many people found the film to be a poignant, tragicomic story that profoundly reaffirmed the humanity of concentration camp victims. The film became the highest grossing foreign language film in the U.S. and established Benigni as an international star.

    Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film 1998
    Cannes Jury Prize 1998
    Academy Awards Best Actor 1998 Roberto Benigni Italian Actor/Director
    Academy Awards Best Original Score 1998 Nicola Piovani Composer, FRED & GINGER (1986)

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  • Credits
    Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini, Guistino Durano, Sergio Bini Bustric, Marisa Paredes, Horst Bucholz, Lydia Alfonsi
  • Critic Reviews
    "...[A] magnificent film....Real emotional strength..."
    Sight and Sound

    "...[Benigni] succeeds, to an extraordinary degree, in reviving the neo-Technicolor lushness and affectionate screwball rhythms of postwar Hollywood....A delicate romance spiked with antifascist farce..."
    Entertainment Weekly

    "...[The film] explores the power of laughter to lift the human spirit even in the face of extreme tragedy..."
    Box Office

    "...[Benigni is] one of the world's most irresistibly funny people. A mischief-maker percolating with infectious energy and a machine-gun verbal style, he blends an Everyman aura with the ability to infuse his characters with believable innocence..."
    Los Angeles Times

    "...[Benigni] puts a serious spin on his comic genius..."
    Premiere

    "...Mr. 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 mischievously..."
    New York Times

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